MHA | C79s and reclaiming import VAT

C79s and reclaiming import VAT

Carolyn O’Shea · September 26th 2022 · read

Cargo container

If you import goods into Great Britain, you should be familiar with import VAT. We have previously published insights about the different methods you can use to pay import VAT.

Import VAT can be paid:

  1. by you or your freight forwarder/customs agent when the goods reach the border,
  2. via a Duty Deferment account,
  3. via the VAT return using Postponed VAT Accounting (PVA).

If you pay import VAT via option 1 or 2, you should have been receiving a C79 certificate from HMRC in the post.

This blue and green certificate details the import VAT you paid in the previous month.

This C79 certificate is your evidence to reclaim the import VAT as input tax via box 4 of the VAT return. HMRC could disallow input tax reclaimed if you do not have the C79 certificate.

How is reclaiming import VAT changing?

On 1 October 2022, the current CHIEF system used by HMRC for import declarations will be replaced by the Customs Declaration Service (CDS).

If you use PVA, you will be familiar with logging into the CDS to obtain your monthly import VAT statements.

When the CHIEF system closes, HMRC will no longer be posting C79 certificates. You will need to log into the CDS to download the C79 certificate.

It takes approximately 5 minutes to register for the CDS and you should receive confirmation of your registration within 24 hours. 

You should download and retain the C79 within your VAT account records.

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