Michaela Merz


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Turkey: Only a Turkish resident entity can act as importer


In accordance with the Turkish VAT Law, importation of goods and services is subject to VAT, and the taxpayer for the importation is defined as the importer. In other words, the importer of record is the party which imports the goods. Please note that tax ID is required for importation procedures; therefore, only a Turkish resident entity may conduct importation. Continue reading


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UK: Only the owner of the imported goods can deduct the import VAT as from 15 of July 2019


HMRC is aware of incorrect treatment by businesses whereby import VAT has been incorrectly deducted as input tax by non-owners of the goods.  As from 15th July 2019, HMRC will only allow claims for input VAT deduction if the owner is the importer and pays the UK import VAT. In case the non-owner is the importer and pays the UK import VAT, HMRC will not allow an input VAT deduction. A transitional period to 15th July 2019 has been put in place for businesses to make any necessary changes and implement correct procedures. This is especially important for toll manufacturer, who are acting as importer and recover the import VAT paid. These toll manufacturer does not own the goods.

Toll operators  import goods, process them and distribute them within or outside of the UK but to other EU countries (for instance for clinical trials). The toll operator does not take ownership of the goods and does not resell them. The only supply by the toll operator is of its services to its client not resident and not registered for VAT in UK (the owner of the imported goods).

Title to the goods at all times remains with the owners. However, the toll operator acts as ‘importer of record’ on UK import declarations, pays the import VAT to HMRC and receives the import VAT certificate (C79). HMRC has become aware that a number of UK toll operators who have paid import VAT on behalf of their not resident and not VAT  registered customers have also claimed a corresponding deduction for input tax under section 24 of the VAT Act 1994. However, there is no provision in UK law for such deduction.

There is no evidence to suggest that the businesses concerned have knowingly applied the wrong treatment. In all cases seen by HMRC, the toll operator has dealt with the importation and paid or claimed the import VAT to provide an administrative and cash flow benefit to their customers, as part of the overall service they provide.

The correct procedure is for the owner to be the importer of record and reclaim the import VAT, either in accordance with section 24 of the VAT Act 1994 (if registered for VAT in the UK) or under the Thirteenth VAT Directive (86/560/EEC).

For further details please see here >

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CANADA: No more surtax on steel and aluminium as from 20, May 2019


On May 17, 2019, Global Affairs Canada released a joint statement with the United States, announcing the elimination (which became effective May 20, 2019) of all tariffs imposed by the United States under section 232 of the Trade Expansion act of 1962 (19 USC §1862) – duties on steel and aluminum, and all retaliatory tariffs imposed by Canada

Both countries have also agreed to terminate all pending litigation between them in the World Trade Organization, with respect to the section 232 duties on steel and aluminum and Canada’s retaliatory surtax. Continue reading


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NEW ZEALAND: Introduction of low value imported goods start date might be postponed even until 1 April 2020


NZ low value imported goods rules start date is still going through a decision-making process. The large platforms and several firms asked for more time as the law will with high probability be not passed until mid year. The industry asks for 1 April 2020 as a day of introduction rather than the original date of 1 October 2019. This will be a governmental decision and a compromise date could be 1 January 2020.

 

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POLAND: Change in the the simplified scheme for import VAT as of 1 May 2019


The cash-free import VAT settlement, as a result of the simplified procedure, will be limited from 1 May 2019. The end of April 2019 is the limit date for the reassessment of permits to use the simplified procedure. The need for their re-verification resulted from the introduction of the EU Customs Code (UCC) instead of the previously applicable Community Customs Code (CCC). Continue reading


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Switzerland: VAT changes for imports of low-value goods from 1 January 2019


Due to the change in legislation, non-established sellers of “low-value” goods into Switzerland will be obliged to register for VAT if they generate more than CHF 100,000 (approx. USD 100,000) of sales of low-value goods per year.

Low-value goods are defined as imports where the VAT charge does not exceed CHF 5. At the currently applicable Swiss VAT rates these are shipments of CHF 65 at the standard VAT rate of 7.7%, or CHF 200 at the reduced VAT rate of 2.5%. Import VAT and customs duties are not levied upon the importation of goods if the amount of import VAT does not exceed CHF 5. Continue reading


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Switzerland: Webcast Import/Export


Moving goods across the borders is the daily business for many companies and an integrated part of their current processes. In our consulting work, we have seen that the customs operations is often handled without proper due diligence. Continue reading