The payment of VAT is only suspended when goods are stored in an approved warehouse or storage facility.

VAT-free trading in warehouse

Goods are traded VAT-free in UK customs warehouses (VATA 1994, s. 18(3)).

HMRC may approve the use of premises as a ‘customs warehouse’ or an ‘excise warehouse’ or as both (VATA 1994, s. 18; CEMA 1979, s. 92(1)–(3); Notice 702/10; Notice 232; HMRC VAT – Supplies in warehouse and fiscal warehousing Manual). The written approval normally specifies the type of goods that can be stored in the warehouse or premises concerned.

The facility extends to goods imported from non-EU countries which are liable only to VAT.

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