Thursday, 5 December 2019

Ceisteanna (90)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

90. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the number of items confiscated by customs officials at ports and airports due to the fact VAT or excise had not been paid in the past five years and to date in 2019; the rules in relation to VAT and excise on goods ordered from abroad and being delivered here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51047/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

I am advised by Revenue that it is not possible to identify cases where the non-payment of VAT and excise was the specific reason for a seizure of goods at ports and airports. Revenue has provided me with details of all excisable goods seized for the years 2014 to 2019 (to the end of November), for non-compliance with customs and excise obligations at ports and airports. These are set out in the following table.

Cigarettes

Tobacco (Kg)

Alcohol (Litres)

Oil (Litres)

2014

50.2m

5,566

30,520

3,348

2015

64.9m

1,716

30,029

97,000

2016

42.4m

985

90,238

181,860

2017

32.8m

1,049

73,456

80,752

2018

42.2m

1,076

187,680

23,000

2019 (to end November)

11.8m

2,788

151,918

3,000

The rules applicable to VAT and excise on goods ordered from abroad are governed by the EU VAT Directive (Council Directive 2006/112/EC) and the EU General Excise Directive (Council Directive 2008/118/EC). Different rules apply depending on whether the goods are purchased within the EU or are purchased from a third country.

Goods sold by a supplier in another Member State to a private consumer in Ireland are liable to VAT in the Member State of the supplier, provided the value of their total sales to customers in Ireland does not exceed the Irish registration threshold of €35,000 for distance sales. Where sales to private consumers in Ireland exceed this threshold, the supplier must register and account for VAT in Ireland. Suppliers that do not exceed the Irish registration threshold can opt to register and account for VAT in Ireland on their distance sales.

Where goods are purchased by a VAT registered business in Ireland from a supplier in an EU Member State, no VAT is charged, and the Irish business will account for the VAT based on a reverse charge in their VAT return.

In the case of excisable products being dispatched to an address in Ireland from another EU Member State, the person dispatching the excise goods must appoint a tax representative established in Ireland who is liable for the excise due on such orders. The tax representative must declare each order to Revenue prior to dispatch and must also provide a guarantee for the excise due. As soon as the consignment is delivered, the tax representative must ensure that the excise duty is paid to Revenue. Where the person dispatching the goods has not appointed a tax representative in the State, the customer must arrange to pay the excise duty in advance.

Where goods are ordered from another EU Member State they are not subject to Customs Duty.

Goods ordered by persons, both business and private consumers, from suppliers established outside the EU are subject to customs duty, VAT and where applicable, excise duty which are normally payable prior to the release of the goods into free circulation in Ireland. However, in the case of VAT, currently small consignments below a value of €22 which are imported from outside the EU are exempt from VAT and such consignments, below a value of €150, are not subject to Customs Duty.