European Shipping Freedom Pre Brexit

European Shipping Freedom Pre Brexit

Brexit "In or Out", is potentially the most widely talked about potential for changes in the political, economical and social landscape for years. So I felt it rather pertinent to look at how European shipping legislation currently stands, providing further food for thought on whether to vote in or out.

Presently consisting of 28 member states, the European Union is arguably one of the greatest trade markets globally and with the four principal freedoms of activity by which its business organisations currently benefit; goods, capital, services & people.

One of the existing main advantages, is that the European shipping of the majority of goods amongst member states does not require special paperwork for customs, however there are a few exclusions, in particular, merchandise which has licensing controls or excise goods, for instance firearms, specific drugs and tobacco.

What's the difference between shipping and exporting

Whenever merchandise is transported to countries outside the European Union they are classed as exports, as opposed to transporting goods between EU members, which is regarded as shipping or dispatches. Likewise, there's a distinction between the phrases for imports verse arrivals.

To illustrate, pallet shipping from the UK to France is termed a dispatch to that location, whilst shipping to North America is regarded as an export.

European Shipping and VAT

Shipping to a VAT registered company is excluded from VAT charges providing that you are transporting goods inside the European Union; the company’s VAT registration number is clearly visible on your invoice and you obtain evidence to show removal of goods (demonstrate that the shipped merchandise have left the UK).

Conversely, if the purchaser is not VAT registered you need to charge VAT as you usual.

Inland Revenue Intrastat declarations

At the same time, all European Union businesses need to declare sales on their VAT returns, showing all inter EU goods received and goods sold with values that exceed the VAT exemption thresholds necessitate regular Intrastat returns by VAT registered companies.

Community Transit Declarations

Community Transit Declarations are mandatory for the transportation of items that were imported into the European Union and haven't had duties settled or different import processes finalized. However items that originate in the European Union or had duties paid may be transported inside and between EU member states with no CT

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