In Jota Jota Alimentos Global SL (‘Jota’) v HMRC [2021] TC06584, the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) concluded that goods imported for subsequent despatch to Spain were not supplied in the UK.

Jota is established in Spain. It imported goods into the UK from Colombia in transit to the ultimate destination in Spain.

  • This was a one-off shipment and none of the goods were sold in the UK.
  • The company does not have an establishment of any form in the UK.

Jota argued that it is entitled to a refund of the UK import VAT in accordance with the EU Refund Directive, as the import into UK was simply part of the transit arrangements to ensure faster delivery.

  • Jota submitted a VAT refund claim to HMRC to recover the import VAT.
  • The claim was refused on the basis that Jota was deemed to have made a supply in the UK.
  • That decision was upheld following a review and Jota appealed to the FTT.  

The FTT noted that as Joto Jota had made a claim for the refund of VAT, which was accounted for on the import of goods into the UK, the burden of establishing that it satisfies the requirements for such a refund is on Joto Jota.

The standard of proof is on a balance of probabilities.

  • The FTT considered that the appropriate question to ask is whether the transfer of the goods from the UK to Spain was a deemed supply of the goods in the UK.
  • In this regard, the FTT noted that all of the goods in respect of which a refund of VAT was claimed were shipped from Colombia to the UK and then transported to Jota in Spain.
  • The transport of these goods was arranged by Britain & Latin America Logistics Ltd and the transport arranged was for the goods to be sent from Colombia to Spain, with the importation into the UK.
  • The subsequent despatch from the UK being no more than part of the transit arrangements in order to ensure fast delivery to Jota in Spain in the light of available shipping routes.

Allowing the appeal, the FTT held that Jota did not supply any goods or services deemed to have been supplied in the UK in the refund period and is therefore entitled to a refund of the VAT under the Refund Directive.

Useful guides on this topic

Place of supply: Goods
VAT on goods is determined by the place of supply (POS); whether they are UK based supplies, imports, exports, EU dispatches, or EU acquisitions.

VAT: International goods
Special VAT rules apply to goods bought from and sold to non-UK businesses. This guide only considers VAT. It does not address Customs duties or other indirect taxes and duties that might apply on goods.

External Link

Jota Jota Alimentos Global SL v HMRC [2021] UKFTT 14 TC/2019/06584 TC/2019/06584


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