Businesses in Northern Ireland can now register for the scheme to account for VAT on goods sold to consumers in the EU or Northern Ireland.

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From 1 March 2024, a business in Northern Ireland or Norway, which sells low-value goods imported from outside the EU and Northern Ireland to customers inside those regions can register with HMRC to use the import one stop shop (IOSS) system. This should simplify the business’ VAT reporting.  

What is IOSS? 

On 1 July 2021, the EU introduced a package of changes to the VAT rules regarding the import of low value goods into the EU. As a result of the changes, an IT system known as IOSS was introduced. IOSS allows businesses to account for EU VAT on the sale of imported low value goods to consumers in the EU through one IOSS registration. Previously, a VAT registration may have been required in as many member states as the business was importing into. 

A business that makes use of IOSS must charge its customers VAT at the rate that applies to the goods in the destination country (ie, where the customer is located). This is the UK for goods sold into Northern Ireland. The business does not need to account for import VAT on goods entering Northern Ireland when they are reported under IOSS. 

Who can register? 

The following businesses can register with HMRC for IOSS: 

The business must be selling goods to consumers in the EU and/or Northern Ireland that were imported in consignments with a value of £135 of less from countries outside the EU and Northern Ireland. Only goods meeting these requirements can be reported under the scheme.  

Businesses must be registered for UK VAT to register for IOSS in Northern Ireland. 

Please note that businesses can only have one IOSS registration. Businesses selling imported low value consignments into Northern Ireland that are already registered for IOSS in an EU country must tell HMRC their IOSS registration number. 

What to include on an IOSS return 

Once registered for IOSS, businesses must submit a monthly return. This return must include all VAT due on eligible imports of low value goods to consumers in the EU and/or Northern Ireland.

Businesses must not report the VAT on sales of low value goods that were located in Great Britain at the point of sale to consumers in Northern Ireland on their IOSS return. These must be reported on the business’s UK VAT return. 


Further reading: 

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