Suppose I am a private person living in an EU country (in my case in Germany) and I want to order some products from a shop resided in UK. Suppose that I request the product via email and the UK shop offers me a written quote. For example the product net price is 300 GBP, then a UK customer would pay 360 GBP because of 20 % UK VAT. Suppose the quote shows the price including UK VAT.

Now if I order the product from Germany, as far as I know I also have to pay 19% turnover tax. So is this correct, that I need to pay both taxes, the UK VAT and the German turnover tax?

Is there a way such that I have to pay only the 19% turnover tax and not the UK VAT? Are there any special requirements to the form of the quote to make this work?

I am also looking for reliable reference for possible answers to my questions.

Edit I just found one german source which says that I have to pay no UK VAT, but I am not sure of how reliable this information is (see here)

1 Answer 1


The UK shop (that is VAT registered) should list VAT on the invoice, but that VAT should be "Zero Rated" i.e. VAT at 0%.

A shop unfamiliar with exporting might not be setup to handle this.


2.1 Zero rating on exports

VAT is a tax levied on goods and services consumed in the UK. When goods are exported they are ‘consumed’ outside the UK and to impose VAT on such goods would be contrary to the purpose of the tax. Therefore, the supply of exported goods is zero-rated provided the conditions in this notice are met.

A zero-rated VAT supply is one which is subject to VAT but where the VAT is at 0%.

I'm unfamiliar with the "Customs Duty", "Taxes" and possibly "Courier Customs Duty handling fee" (which are likely separate) which might be applied by Germany.

Although a UK shop familiar with export might be able to provide a "Duty Paid" courier / shipping service which would mean the duty would be calculated and paid upfront avoiding the "Courier Customs Duty handling fee" and delays in Customs.

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