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How to Complete the Intrastat Form

By: Dave Howell - Updated: 23 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Export Customs And Excise Documents

So that every government within the European Union (EU) can produce trade statistics, each business that exports goods to other EU Member States has to record these transaction on a number of documents linked to customs and excise. One of the main documents your business must be aware of is the Intrastat form. Note that the supply of services does not need to be recorded on your Intrastat form.

What is Intrastat?

The Intrastat system itself covers any goods that you export or import to an EU customer. The amount of detailed information you must give about your imports or exports will depend on how much your consignments are worth. If you transport goods to the value of £260,000 you must complete the standard Intrastat form. If you import or export customs and excise goods over this value, your business must also complete what is called a Supplementary Declaration that gives more details about the goods you are moving.

Check with your local customs and excise office to ensure you are always aware of the threshold as this can change each year. Note that even if your business will transport goods below the Intrastat threshold, you still have to account for these on the other documents that should accompany your exports or imports. Usually this is your standard VAT return form.

How to Complete the Intrastat Form

If the value of the goods you export or import is below the £260,000 threshold your Intrastat form is your usual VAT return. You will need to complete boxes eight and nine respectively. Note that the figures you include on your form should exclude any tax or duty charges on the customs and excise goods you transport, but should include any insurance charges.

If you transport more than £260,000 worth of goods in any one year, in addition to completing your VAT return as above, you also need to complete the Supplementary Declaration. This can be done via a paper form, or electronically online. There are two Supplementary Declaration forms you should use:

  • Form C1500 (this is for purchases or imports)
  • Form C1501 (this is for sales or exports)
Note that if your business will transport goods that value over the current threshold, you will need to complete both forms if you are importing and exporting. The Supplementary Declarations must be completed and sent to the HMRC (HM Revenue & Customs) as soon as your business exceeds the current Intrastat threshold.

The Intrastat form will require your business to record all exports and imports with their correct Commodity Codes so the goods can be identified by the HMRC. There is an online system called the Intrastat Classification Nomenclature that your business can use. The system is hosted on the UKTradeinfo website. If you have problems classifying your goods you can contact the Tariff Classification Help line on: 01702 366077.

It is vitally important that your business submits its Intrastat form and any Supplementary Declarations on time. If you fail to do so your business may be committing a criminal offence. Also, as with your business’s other VAT records, any documents relating to your Intrastat form or Supplementary Declarations must be kept for at least six years.

Electronic Intrastat

Your business can continue to complete and send in paper Intrastat forms and Supplementary Declarations, but you can also use the electronic system that is now available. The UKtradeinfo website has detailed information about how you can start to use the online system.

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