VAT (Value Added Tax) Number
A VAT number is required to import into the EU.
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What is VAT Number?
This is the unique number that identifies a taxable person (business) or non-taxable legal entity that is registered for VAT. A VAT (value added tax) number is required to import goods into the EU or UK with Flexport.
See the European Commission's VAT identification numbers page for more information on who needs a VAT number in the EU.
See the UK VAT Registration page for more information on who needs a VAT number in the UK.
Do I need a VAT number for every EU country?
Yes. VAT numbers are country specific, so if a company is importing or exporting to multiple EU countries, they will need a VAT number for each country.
For UK imports you will need a UK specific VAT number.
How do I request a VAT number?
VAT numbers can be requested from the local tax authorities of EU countries. Most applications can be completed online.
When do I pay VAT?
VAT will need to be paid upon import into the EU, unless the importer has a VAT deferment license (common in the Netherlands).
In the UK VAT will need to be paid upon import, unless the importer is registered for Postponed VAT Accounting (PVA).
For tax guidance please consult a tax professional.
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Related Glossary Terms
EORI (Economic Operator Registration and Identification)