Friday, April 29, 2016

Logistics Representatives Ask for Response from Supply Chain Stakeholders to Online VAT Clampdown

UK Warehousing Authority Offers Chance for Freight Forwarders and Others to Make Representations
Shipping News Feature
UK – After our recent coverage of the British International Freight Association’s (BIFA) warning that HMRC are about to increase pressure on freight forwarders who fail to ensure that customers are strictly above board due to numerous VAT avoidance scams the United Kingdom Warehousing Association (UKWA) is encouraging stakeholders in the supply chain to respond to government directly to give their views.

The UKWA has welcomed the opportunity to engage with the Government over the planned introduction of a ‘register for fulfilment houses’ that store and distribute goods on behalf of online retailers. The ‘register’ is designed to tackle non-EU online traders that do not pay the correct VAT and duty on goods held in UK warehouses and sold to UK consumers via websites, activity that is said to be costing £1.5bn in lost VAT revenue each year.

The UKWA is asking its members and other companies who might be affected by the introduction of the register, to download HMRC’s Fulfilment House Due Diligence Scheme Consultation Document and pass on any comments or concerns regarding the impact of the scheme on their business. The document can be downloaded HERE and make their responses via a UKWA questionnaire which can be obtained HERE.

The consultation period ends on 30 June, so interested parties are asked to submit their comments by 1 June. UKWA, along with other stakeholder interest groups, will then present the industry’s position to HMRC. Peter Ward, CEO of UKWA, commented:

“UKWA and its members welcome any measures that help the Government clamp down on fraudulent activity that is depriving Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs of considerable revenue. As the leading trade association for the UK logistics industry, we are glad to have the opportunity to consult with the Government on this very significant issue.

“Industry feedback is essential and we would ask any company that is, or has been, involved with the fulfilment of online orders, to take the time to send us their thoughts so that UKWA can put the industry’s concerns to the Treasury. We plan to collate the feedback we receive and present a thorough and wide ranging response to the Treasury to ensure that the logistics industry is not penalized by the Government’s plans for a fulfilment house register.”