Should or shouldn’t I register for VAT?

Forum Categories VAT REGISTRATION Should or shouldn’t I register for VAT?

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    I’ve got a small business in the Netherlands where I sell second hand books. I’m still struggling with figuring out if I need to register for VAT or not. I’ve already applied for a UK EORI number. 

    So I only have a couple of orders to the UK a month, and I’m selling only books which are tax exempt. If I look at the website I see that if “all or most of your taxable supplies, or relevant acquisitions, are zero-rated” then “you may not need to be registered for VAT – this is called exemption from registration”. (

    Since I’m desperately trying to avoid any of my packages not arriving in the UK in 2021 or getting stuck at customs I just wanted to ask here to make absolutely sure. So, should or shouldn’t I register for VAT in the UK? Or will it be enough to provide my parcels with an invoice & packing slip that states my UK EORI and the tax exempt contents of the parcel?

    Any guidance is highly appreciated!


    The printed books are zero-rated which is different from being exempt, and zero-rated supplies are taxable supplies and will count towards the registration threshold should you be required to register for VAT in the UK.

    In my view, without going into detail, its your customers that should be aware that they may have to pay UK import VAT on the goods when they arrive in the UK. They may also have to pay duty too. But since these are printed books there would not be any import VAT unless the books do not meet the zero-rating criteriio as explained here:

    Although the outcome of Brexit is still uncertain, Netherlands imports are mostly likely to be treated as any other non-EU import and hence you may want to read more about this here:

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