Ukrainian Export – Ex Works and change of address

Question

We have recently taken on new business in the UKraine (we supply wedding dresses to shops)
They are paying ex works but have asked us to change the address on the commercial invoice to their freight forwarders address in the Ukraine. Is this ok to do? Or could we put the company name and said ‘care of..’ then this new address?

We are also being asked to sign an Authorisation for customs agency for Poland (it is shipping through Poland to Ukraine. But if it is ex works- I understood that we should not have to?

Answer

Thanks for your question – I hope you get some good responses to it shortly.

If you haven’t already, these incoterms guides could be of use:

http://opentoexport.com/article/incoterms-rules-what-are-incoterms/
http://opentoexport.com/article/international-commerce-terms/

Best of luck!

Will

Answer

This doesn’t sound too unusual. It may be as simple as no-one is guaranteed be at the buyer’s premises when the shipments are expected. As long as you make it clear to the buyer that your responsibility for the goods ends when they are delivered to the freight forwarder, and that onward delivery from them to the buyer’s own premises are the buyer’s responsibility, that should be OK. The important thing is that the freight forwarders are aware from the documentation for whom the goods are destined, otherwise they could be kicking around in a big warehouse getting lost or damaged. If it were me, I’d phone them up and have a chat about it. If there’s a language issue, let me know. As for going via Poland, this is also quite usual; as for ex-works, it may be that the buyer is not familiar with the way ex-works documentation and procedures work (or their freight forwarder has not explained it to them). Again, a phone call should clarify things.

Answer

1. In the case of a zero rated indirect export, the supply must be made to an overseas customer. This means a person or company who is not resident or registered for VAT in the UK, does not have a business establishment in the UK from which taxable supplies are made or is an overseas authority. An indirect export occurs when the goods are exported outside the EC by or on behalf of the overseas purchaser i.e. someone other than the UK owner or supplier arranges the export.

An example of an indirect export is when the overseas person or their agent, such as a freight forwarder, collects the goods in the UK and exports them as freight. These are referred to as ‘ex-works’ transactions.

Your evidence must show the goods you supplied have left the EC. It should include a written order from your customer which shows their name and address, and the address where the goods are to be delivered, as well as a copy sales invoice showing the invoice number, customer’s name and a description of the goods. It might therefore be prudent to add a ‘care of’ address.

2.

As previously advised the authorisation for customs query has nothing to do with UK Customs. However, where you export to non-EC countries via other EC Member States, you will require either official proof of export for VAT purposes or commercial transport evidence that the goods have left the EC to substantiate the zero-rating of the supplies.

Sections 6 and 7 of VAT Notice 703 – Export of goods from the UK refer.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/vat-notice-703-export-of-goods-from-the-uk

Details of contact addresses and other useful information provided by the VAT authorities in other Member States can be found on the European Commission website;

http://ec.europa.eu/

HM Revenue & Customs

Customs International Trade & Excise

www.hmrc.gov.uk/contactus

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