For VAT purposes, from 1 January 2021, all sales of goods by a foreign seller facilitated by an OMP will be treated as a “supply of the goods in the UK to the UK consumer by that OMP” if those goods:
As a result, the OMP is responsible for collecting and paying VAT on the sale to a UK customer. The supply from the foreign seller selling through the OMP will not be treated as a supply to a UK consumer. Instead, if the goods are already in the UK (i.e. for which import VAT has already been paid), the supply of the goods to the OMP is assumed to have taken place at a zero VAT rate. Therefore, the foreign supplier must register for UK VAT in order to reclaim any import VAT incurred when importing shipments of goods (over GBP 135 in total value) into the UK. For UK VAT, the delivery will be treated as follows:
In either case, the value of the goods for VAT purposes is based on the price at which they are sold to the consumer, rather than on a valuation calculated at the time of import.
For goods that are abroad at the time of sale, the new rules apply regardless of where the OMP or company selling the goods is located. So even if a seller were to sell goods to a British customer via, for example, a Dutch platform such as Bol.com (if they facilitate sales to British customers), Bol.com is responsible for the payment of VAT in the UK.
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A different situation applies to goods imported into the UK for sale to consumers. Businesses based outside the UK selling goods to UK customers where the goods are already in the UK are already subject to UK VAT under the existing rules. Such companies should already be VAT registered. For VAT purposes, such a supply will be treated as follows from 1 January 2021:
In both cases, the value of the goods for VAT purposes is based on the price at which they are sold to the consumer.
Also for goods that are abroad at the time of sale, the new rules apply regardless of where the OMP or the company selling the goods is located.
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