NewsCase StudiesEvents

EU Reviews Low Value Consignment VAT Loophole

Also in the news...

Carry out international road haulage

What UK goods vehicle operators need to do to carry out international road haulage.

Import firewood into England, Scotland or Wales

Find out how to import firewood, such as logs and kindling, into England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain).

How to check if you can delay customs payments and declarations

If you’re a business that currently buys goods from or sells goods to countries outside the UK, or are planning to trade with Europe from January 2021, HMRC’s new tool can help you identify ways you might be able to make the customs process easier for cheaper for your business. This short video shows you how to use the tool.

How can a customs intermediary or agent help me?

If you’re a UK business thinking about moving goods into or out of the UK , this video is here to help you understand how customs intermediaries or agents can help you. For more information have a look at the guidance available on

What are commodity codes?

If you're buying or selling goods abroad, you need to work out the amount of duty or VAT you owe. This short video tells you how to find out the ‘commodity code’ classification for your goods, using our Trade Tariff tool. Find out more on GOV.UK

EU Reviews Low Value Consignment VAT Loophole

Back to News

In an effort to minimise VAT evasion, reduce administration and level the playing field for EU traders, the European Commission (EC) wants to abolish the Low Value Consignment Stock Relief (LVCR) scheme.

It’s estimated that the EU is currently losing as much as €500m per annum to non-EU sellers of goods who are able to use the scheme to their advantage, and are suspected of reducing the value of the shipments that they import into EC member states.

The EC has set quite an ambitious deadline of 1 January 2016 to introduce legislation that would see the VAT exemption removed for the importation of small consignments from non-EU suppliers.

The legislation would be welcomed by EU retailers, as it would resolve the issue of unfair advantage from competitors - particularly Chinese businesses.The closing of the LVCR loophole is expected to result in EU customers of overseas sellers being required to pay more, due to the items no longer being VAT free.

As was demonstrated in 2014 when the UK removed the LVCR scheme from businesses registered in the Channel Islands, governments would see a cost benefit (HMRC estimates the loophole was costing the UK £140m annually) and tax authorities would be relieved of having to track and prosecute international sellers.

Need more information? Contact our VAT team.

You are not logged in!

Please login or register to ask our experts a question.

Login now or register.