Reply To: Import of wine from Italy

Trevor S

The same principles apply as if you’d bought from a supplier in the UK. The only difference is that when you buy from a UK supplier, they charge you the VAT and they pay it to HMRC – whereas with the import it’s the courier that has paid it to HMRC, on your behalf.

So, if the purchase is by a VAT registered business to be used for their taxable business activities (e.g. resale), the VAT is recoverable via the VAT return.  It doesn’t matter if you don’t actually sell the wine until the next VAT period.  You’ll declare VAT on the income on the VAT return covering the period of the sale.

Bear in mind that this just applies to the VAT.  The charge from the courier is also likely to include a fee / admin charge for dealing with HMRC on your behalf, which of course can’t be reclaimed.