Purchase goods from an EU business (NI)

Overview for businesses in Northern Ireland

When you purchase goods from a VAT registered business in the EU, import VAT is not charged but you still need to declare it on your VAT return. This is done using reverse charge VAT.

We apply the reverse charge automatically, so you can be sure the VAT is recorded correctly on your VAT return. To help us work out where reverse charge needs to be used, check that you have selected:

  • The correct country on your supplier record details and a VAT registration number where applicable.

  • The Goods (and related services) indicator on each item line on your purchase invoice.

HMRC guide to importing goods from UK (opens in new tab)

Create a purchase invoice

  1. Go to Purchases, Purchase Invoices, and select New Invoice.

  2. In the Supplier field, select your overseas supplier from the list, or type the supplier name.

    If the supplier is not a saved contact, select Add a supplier to create a record for them.

    Make sure each supplier has the correct country set on their address and a VAT registration number where applicable.

  3. On the first invoice line, select a product from the list, or start typing its name to find it. If the product is not a saved item, enter a description for the item or select Create item to create a record for it.

  4. In EU Goods/Services select Goods (and related services).

  5. Select the VAT rate that you would apply if the purchase was made in the UK (for reporting purposes). The VAT amount is automatically set to zero but is still recorded on the VAT return.

    Repeat steps 3 to 5 on a new line for as many items as you need to add to your invoice

  6. Select Save.

The VAT return

If the VAT rate was set to standard or lower rate, VAT is reported in Box 2 - VAT due in this period on acquisitions from other EC Member States and Box 4 - VAT reclaimed in this period on purchases and other inputs.

The net value is recorded in Box 7 - Total value of purchases and all other inputs excluding any VAT and Box 9 - Total value of all acquisitions of goods and related services, excluding any VAT, from other EC Member States.