Do I need to register to start using Postponed VAT Accounting (PVA)?

Do I Need to Register for Postponed VAT Accounting (PVA)?

If you're a UK business involved in importing goods, you might have heard of Postponed VAT Accounting (PVA) and wondered whether it's something you need to sign up for.

The short answer is no, there's no need to register for PVA, but let's unpack what PVA is and how you can use it to your business's advantage.


Who Can Use PVA?

PVA is available to all VAT-registered businesses in the UK. The key requirement is that the goods you're importing are for business use, and you, as the importer, have the right to dispose of the goods, typically as the owner. There's no need to apply or seek permission; you can start using PVA immediately.


To start using PVA, you’ll need to:

  • Ensure the goods you import are for use in your business.
  • Include your VAT registration number on your import declaration.

Using a Freight Forwarder or Customs Agent?


If you're using a third party like a freight forwarder, customs agent, broker, or fast parcel operator to import goods on your behalf, you must inform them that you wish to account for import VAT on your VAT Return. They will need this information to complete the import declaration correctly.

If you already have a customs representative, it's crucial to contact them and let them know your preference for accounting for import VAT on your VAT Return for the goods you import. Keeping a written record of this communication is advisable for reference and compliance.



PVA is designed to make the import process easier for VAT-registered businesses in the UK. Postpone VAT accounting (PVA) eliminates the need to pay VAT at the point of import, providing better cash flow management and a more streamlined accounting process.There’s no formal registration process for PVA; you simply need to indicate your choice on your import declaration and comunicate this with your customs intermediary.


Remember, while PVA simplifies the accounting process, it’s essential to maintain accurate records and ensure compliance with all VAT reporting requirements. As with any tax matter, if you're unsure about how to proceed, consult with a tax professional or reach out to HMRC for guidance tailored to your specific situation.

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