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FriedrichVonHayek

Customs Importation Codes

59 posts in this topic

Has anyone successfully used (numismatic collectible code 9705000000 ) to import coins from North America and Australia.

I was reading a long article from 2013 about a UK based coin dealer, who eventually after being sent from pillar to post managed to only pay 5% VAT on imported Silver coins due to Customs applying the wrong charges.

The incredible level of bureaucracy from the HMRC/UK Border Force and Royal Mail combined whether it is by accident or design has put me off from ordering from outside the E.U.

Not sure if this code is still valid.

 

Edited by FriedrichVonHayek

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So far as I am aware, the code remains valid.  Whether it is correctly applied is another matter entirely.

I might take the matter up in the New Year and ask HMRC for more clarity, and a Binding Tariff Ruling.  It could be a very useful way of importing numismatic coins.

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There is a long thread here where the poster has pasted in emails with Parliament and HMRC.

http://www.predecimal.com/forum/topic/8011-importation-vat-on-numismatic-coins-into-the-uk-is-not-20/

I take it that numismatic coins imported into the UK from outside the EU should have 5% VAT levied on them and not the standard rate of 20%.

My question is what does HMRC define as numismatic?

I see that antiques can be free of import duty and eligible for a reduced rate of VAT.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/notice-362-imported-antiques/notice-362-imported-antiques 

I see that antiques of numismatic interest are eligible. An antique is something over 100 years old.

So a coin over 100 years old with numismatic interest would be duty free and 5% VAT.

A certificate from the seller is needed. The thing with coins is they do have a handy date stamped on them. 

 

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17 minutes ago, sixgun said:

There is a long thread here where the poster has pasted in emails with Parliament and HMRC.

http://www.predecimal.com/forum/topic/8011-importation-vat-on-numismatic-coins-into-the-uk-is-not-20/

I take it that numismatic coins imported into the UK from outside the EU should have 5% VAT levied on them and not the standard rate of 20%.

My question is what does HMRC define as numismatic?

I see that antiques can be free of import duty and eligible for a reduced rate of VAT.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/notice-362-imported-antiques/notice-362-imported-antiques 

I see that antiques of numismatic interest are eligible. An antique is something over 100 years old.

So a coin over 100 years old with numismatic interest would be duty free and 5% VAT.

A certificate from the seller is needed. The thing with coins is they do have a handy date stamped on them. 

 

I would imagine that most Silver coins would be classed as being of Numismatic interest as many coin designs change from year to year and also the metal value is far higher than the face value of the coin.

Although the HMRC may beg to differ.

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Having scanned the emails in the links the key comment from the authorities is


• Complaint [Protective Marking: PROTECT]‏

complaintsteamwales@hmce.gsi.gov.uk (complaintsteamwales@hmce.gsi.gov.uk)
Add to contacts
17/05/2013 

To: (name removed)@hotmail.co.uk
 
From: complaintsteamwales@hmce.gsi.gov.uk You moved this message to its current location.
Sent: 17 May 2013 13:53:21
To: (name removed)@hotmail.co.uk
Dear Mr (name removed)

To clarify my earlier e-mail regarding the VAT applicable on the import
of coins from the Channel Islands or from outside the EU.

Coins which are of numismatic interest are classed as collectors' items.
Such items are classified within the
harmonised system with commodity
code 9705 00 00 00.
The effective VAT applicable to these coins at import is 5%. 

I would class coins as of numismatic interest where they are traded at a
value greater than the
face-value as legal tender with the price
dependant on factors such as condition and year of manufacture amongst
others things.

Coins such the Britannia Silver Coin, Canadian Silver Maple
Leaf and US
Silver Eagle Coin recently imported by you are collectors' pieces and as
such VAT at import would be 5%

Apologies if this information was unclear in my earlier email

Regards

Ian

 

This communication goes beyond the antique coin [more than 100 years old]

Where a coin is traded for more than the legal tender face value, where value is dependant on condition, year of mintage, mintage and so on, this officer would classify it as numismatic. As a numismatic [collectible] the coins are 5% VAT.

Clearly almost every coin is numismatic b/c the value exceeds the legal tender face value and it exceeds the value of the metal content. 

When the spot price of silver is £13 and the face value of a Britannia is £2 but you paid £20, where does the extra value come from? This can only come from the collectibility of the coin itself. 

Antique coins look to be on the firmest ground but virtually every coin should have 5% VAT on them.

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Thanks sixgun that's good info. As Silver Brits are legal tender an argument could -and should- be made that they ought to be VAT free as a matter of course really, at least to my mind. I wrote an article saying the same years ago that's floating around somewhere in Internet Land... At the very least HMRC/Treasury should be made to account for why they're chargeable.

Whatever the case it's clear to me that paying VAT on legal tender coins is an outrage and should be treated as such.

Just found this. No straight answer. Nor a lawful one. https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/vat_on_legal_tender_silver

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i have thought that people should ask to be paid in Britannias.

Say they would normally earn £1000 for a job which might result in say £250 tax, if they were paid in Britannias with a tradable value of say £20, they could be paid with 50 Britannias. They have however been paid £100 in legal tender which might well result in little to no tax at all. 

Edited by sixgun

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Thanks sixgun that's good info. As Silver Brits are legal tender an argument could -and should- be made that they ought to be VAT free as a matter of course really, at least to my mind. I wrote an article saying the same years ago that's floating around somewhere in Internet Land... At the very least HMRC/Treasury should be made to account for why they're chargeable.

Whatever the case it's clear to me that paying VAT on legal tender coins is an outrage and should be treated as such.

Just found this. No straight answer. Nor a lawful one. https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/vat_on_legal_tender_silver



Is the difference not between legal tender, and circulating?

As per the RM, the coins may be legal tender but people are not obliged to accept them.

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On 27/12/2016 at 13:22, FriedrichVonHayek said:

Has anyone successfully used (numismatic collectible code 9705000000 ) to import coins from North America and Australia.

I was reading a long article from 2013 about a UK based coin dealer, who eventually after being sent from pillar to post managed to only pay 5% VAT on imported Silver coins due to Customs applying the wrong charges.

The incredible level of bureaucracy from the HMRC/UK Border Force and Royal Mail combined whether it is by accident or design has put me off from ordering from outside the E.U.

Not sure if this code is still valid.

 

As far as i can tell the correct code is 97.05.00.020

 I have used this twice and had the VAT recalculated back to 5% after an appeal providing relevant numismatic / collectible evidence.

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7 minutes ago, Pete said:

As far as i can tell the correct code is 97.05.00.020

 I have used this twice and had the VAT recalculated back to 5% after an appeal providing relevant numismatic / collectible evidence.

Does it take a long time to claim back the VAT off them and what collectible evidence do you have to provide?

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1 minute ago, FriedrichVonHayek said:

Does it take a long time to claim back the VAT off them and what collectible evidence do you have to provide?

About 14 days from supplying the data - photograph and any relevant description that illustrates that the coin is a collectible / part of a set etc as opposed to a Canadian Maple or similar that is just a mass produced silver coin of no real significance.

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5 minutes ago, Pete said:

About 14 days from supplying the data - photograph and any relevant description that illustrates that the coin is a collectible / part of a set etc as opposed to a Canadian Maple or similar that is just a mass produced silver coin of no real significance.

So would rolls of Perth Mint Lunar series,Koala,Kookaburra etc count as a Numismatic collectible to the HMRC.

Edited by FriedrichVonHayek

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Sorry this was directed at Danny Boy. Don't know what happened to the quote...

 

Not really. It's all a bit Alice in Wonderland to me. A coin, legal tender, which you would be crazy to spend at face value, but also be crazy not to accept if offered at face value for a good or service.  Let's all work that one out. Regardless of the value question though I don't think you can disoblige a legal tender coin, otherwise what would be the point? I know only 20 pence of coppers, a fiver's worth -I think- of change are tender and more than that can be refused but for all practical purposes we'd all accept more if need be. Unless of course you were being vindictive and paying your council tax bill in pennies at the town hall, they'd probably refuse... but I have been sorely tempted to try it anyway, just to wind them up.

You certainly wouldn't disoblige a debt being paid in Gold and Silver Brits at face value if you had a clue and any sense, which sadly most people don't. Our collective memory of gold and silver as money, paid in full, is long gone.

There does seem to be a principle of law at stake with the issue though. Not that i'm a lawyer but I'm pretty convinced that someone with a lot of money and time on their hands could take HMRC to court on this. And win. Of course everyone would boo and say you were the bad guy denying HMRC of much needed tax money but that's another argument entirely!

Edited by NumisNewbie

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11 minutes ago, FriedrichVonHayek said:

So would rolls of Perth Mint Lunar series,Koala,Kookaburra etc count as a Numismatic collectible to the HMRC.

If you could find on the Perth Mint website a description / promotional text that mentions the attractiveness, collectibility etc of each coin then that's a good start.
I would guess there is a fair chance of getting the Lunars and Kooks through at the lower VAT but less so the Koalas unless privy marked, colorised or artistically modified in some way. Unfortunately there are no guarantees and often the decision is at the discretion of the person reviewing your claim but the more information you can provide to differentiate from a boring mass produced coin the better. Good luck with your approach - I may have to do this again soon with some carded Kangaroos that are on their way from Australia.

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As a principle of law if you refuse payment of a debt the debt is discharged.

You cannot be sued for nonpayment if you pay legal tender into court to discharge a debt.

So legal tender is a form of exchange that is recognised for the payment of all debts.

Of course if you contract to receive payment in broad beans that is your prerogative. 

Now i mentioned in an earlier post you could ask to be paid in silver Britannias at face value. If this were a payment for some taxable work you would be well within your rights to declare your payment at legal tender face value. You are in effect exploiting the derisory way they treat real money in the fiat system. 

That silver coinage is face value legal tender that you can pay debts in is covered in this piece on the Royal Mint website.

http://www.royalmint.com/aboutus/policies-and-guidelines/legal-tender-guidelines

The second issue covered in this article is that the silver legal tender is not meant for general circulation but as a collectible. So there is the definition from the horses mouth.

Is a legal tender coin intended for general circulation? If the answer is NO then it is a collectible and should be charged at 5% VAT. This certainly applies to UK precious metal legal tender but should also apply for other legal tender coinage, such as Eagles, Maples and every other coin we happen to collect.

In practice this means that although the silver UK coins we produce in denominations of £5, £20, £50 and £100 are approved as legal tender, they have been designed as limited edition collectables or gifts and will not be entering general circulation. As such, UK shops and banks are unlikely to accept them.

ps The HMRC documentation talks about coins - coins are legal tender or otherwise they are rounds or medals. I think this is all very clear. Coins that are not intended for general circulation are collectibles as defined by the Royal Mint and in their legalese HMRC.

I do note that the RM does not mention the status of the £2 coin - the Britiannia. I wonder why they have failed to do so. Do they intend Britannias for general circulation. I think it would be interesting to ask them, so i did.

Edited by sixgun

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9 minutes ago, Pete said:

If you could find on the Perth Mint website a description / promotional text that mentions the attractiveness, collectibility etc of each coin then that's a good start.
I would guess there is a fair chance of getting the Lunars and Kooks through at the lower VAT but less so the Koalas unless privy marked, colorised or artistically modified in some way. Unfortunately there are no guarantees and often the decision is at the discretion of the person reviewing your claim but the more information you can provide to differentiate from a boring mass produced coin the better. Good luck with your approach - I may have to do this again soon with some carded Kangaroos that are on their way from Australia.

Would the coins get through unhindered if you asked the Bullion dealer to put the commodity code on the customs declaration form.

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59 minutes ago, FriedrichVonHayek said:

Would the coins get through unhindered if you asked the Bullion dealer to put the commodity code on the customs declaration form.

I think the thing to do is to get the seller to put the code (numismatic collectible code 9705000020) AND state that these are COLLECTIBLE COINS.

I think we need to make this a mission. I expect that HMRC has 100s of codes and are simply ignorant of these most of the time. 

Edited by sixgun
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1 hour ago, Pete said:

As far as i can tell the correct code is 97.05.00.020

 I have used this twice and had the VAT recalculated back to 5% after an appeal providing relevant numismatic / collectible evidence.

 
 
 
 
 

Looking at 

https://www.dutycalculator.com/hs-lookup/19663/hs-tariff-code-for-numismatic-collectible/

and then down to the UK we see the code  9705.00.0090 

Then if we follow that link we come to 

http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/dds2/taric/measures.jsp?Lang=en&Area=&Taric=9705000090

SECTION XXI WORKS OF ART, COLLECTORS' PIECES AND ANTIQUES
CHAPTER 97 WORKS OF ART, COLLECTORS' PIECES AND ANTIQUES
9705
  Collections and collectors' pieces of zoological, botanical, mineralogical, anatomical, historical, archaeological, palaeontological, ethnographic or numismatic interest : 
9705 00 00 20
-   Collectors’ pieces of silver or gold

 

So this will be the correct code as Pete pointed out earlier in the thread.

 

 

Edited by sixgun

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Sorry off topic a bit.  In answer to Numisnewbie,

I think the Royal Mint have really messed up with the confusion between circulating, un-circulating, legal tender, commemorative and bullion.

Bullion is essentially un-circulating legal tender which has none of the obligations for banks or retailers to accept them that base metal coinage does.  However, because of the legal tender status, they could theoretically be used for payment of debts to a court.  Clearly no one would be inclined to do this at face value though and I have no idea if the courts are actually obliged to accept the precious metal value or simply the face value for that theoretical payment.  See link.  http://www.royalmint.com/help/help/legal-tender-amounts

It was all a bit complicated before, but recently, the releases of the £20, £50, and £100  "commemorative", high face value, legal tender coins, that are actually un-circulating coins have made it that bit more confusing.  Traditionally, all un-circulating coins that are bullion metal have had a much lower face value than the intrinsic metal value.  I forget the reason but it was something to do with taking a small tax rather than no tax a long time back if memory serves me correctly. (someone must know and correct me please)  These new coins have it the other way around though.  They are just like a base metal coin that has a face value way in excess of it's intrinsic value but they do not have the same qualities that a circulating base metal coin has.  Banks are NOT obliged to accept them at face value like they are for your base metal coinage up to those limits prescribed.  That means they are expensive 1oz silver tokens that no one except the courts have to accept that say they are worth £100.  I assume the courts are obliged to accept them at their face value for payment of debts as the mint is selling them off at face value.  Who knows!  Either way I think it's an unwelcome mess by the Royal mint.  They would require to be a seriously limited mintage to justify the price of £100 for an ounce of Silver.

Just as an aside, in the link above it says that the £5, £20, £100 coins are acceptable in any quantity as legal tender.  What it doesn't say is that because the commemorative coins are not circulating they don't count in this list.  What a mess.

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6 minutes ago, sixgun said:

Looking at 

https://www.dutycalculator.com/hs-lookup/19663/hs-tariff-code-for-numismatic-collectible/

and then down to the UK we see the code  9705.00.0090 

Please not this is not the code that has been quoted by others in this thread.

Then if we follow that link we come to 

http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/dds2/taric/measures.jsp?Lang=en&Area=&Taric=9705000090

SECTION XXI WORKS OF ART, COLLECTORS' PIECES AND ANTIQUES
CHAPTER 97 WORKS OF ART, COLLECTORS' PIECES AND ANTIQUES
9705
  Collections and collectors' pieces of zoological, botanical, mineralogical, anatomical, historical, archaeological, palaeontological, ethnographic or numismatic interest : 
9705 00 00 20
-   Collectors’ pieces of silver or gold

 

So this will be the correct code as Pete pointed out earlier in the thread.

 

 

Thanks for the information,I may put in an order next year to APMEX or Perth Bullion.

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FVH,

I think you would be well within your rights to try to suggest the Perth mint lunar coins are numismatic and collectable once they have a declared mintage.  Until the series is complete they still list them as sales to date rather than declared mintage like the series 1 so I don't know about that.  Minefield really but worth a shot.  I guess if you are armed with all the bits that point in your favour rather than the EU bits on bullion that point against you it comes down to the officer that deals with your case.  Essentially it's a very grey area and one that has no clear answer.  It all comes down to whether the officer regards the intention of the rules including some other stuff on bullion etc to mean you should pay VAT at 20% or not.

A similar grey area is in transporting PM's personally across a border.  I did quite a bit of research into this and concluded that no one really knows what is the correct way to handle it.  Before travelling I printed a whole load of tax code info off and a lot of HMRC website stuff that looked like it was not an issue and I was prepared for a big discussion at the border.  Never happened as I didn't make a declaration because I was not carrying more than 10k EUR at the border.  I don't know what the outcome might have been had I been stopped and asked to explain.  When I went through security at the airport abroad they opened my hand luggage to look at my PM's but no issues with it.  I had receipts showing it was mine and the price I paid and also the current price that were both below the currency limits.  http://preciousmetaltax.com/transporting-metals-internationally/#Customs_duty_import_taxes

In the link above they talk about declarations of currency but if you go to HMRC site they say bullion is not counted as currency.  Interesting that Legal tender coins are not currency and is again into the massive grey area.  I believe that in Australia, they have a ruling that you must show that you have owned any silver you are importing on your person for a certain length of time to be excluded from tax.  Perhaps that is also something to do with any coins no longer being produced and now being of collectible interest.  Who the heck knows!! lol

GL

Edited by silversky

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 I got a prompt reply from the Royal Mint about the £2 Britannia silver coin.

We already know the Britannia is legal tender. It is a £2 coin.

The Royal Mint tells me that the coin is in circulation

Customer Services

12:38 PM (4 minutes ago)
cleardot.gif
 
cleardot.gif
cleardot.gif
to me
cleardot.gif
Good Morning

 

Thank you for your email.

 

The £2 Britannia coin is actually in circulation and therefore can be used in the banks and shops.

 

I would not suggest that you use your silver coin in the shops however. If you log onto the BNTA website they will be able to advise you of a coin dealer in your area.

 

Kind Regards

 

Customer Services

- so by their definitions as it is a coin intended for circulation it is not a collectible coin. It would not fall into the 5% VAT category. It would be completely legitimate to be paid in £2 Britannias for goods and services and be taxed at their face value on any profit or income. I don't know of anyone who has done this but people ought to. 

If you ordered Britannias from outside the EU and as usual paid in fiat currency the Britannias would quite rightly be seen as something you bought as an item and not legal tender. If you paid in say USD you could argue it was a currency exchange transaction but i doubt they would view this favourably. However if you provided goods or services and were paid in Britannias [or any legal tender of any currency] then you are simply collecting your payment. You are being paid in legal tender. VAT is not levied on cash sent as payment for goods and services. It is not a goods or services, it is a payment for goods and services. 

I have never heard this being employed. It is playing the powers that should not be at their own fiat currency game.

 
   
Edited by sixgun
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19 hours ago, FriedrichVonHayek said:

Would the coins get through unhindered if you asked the Bullion dealer to put the commodity code on the customs declaration form.

Customs are supposed to use the declared commodity code provided by the seller which will be entered electronically.
As there are penalties for false declarations most packages should be described correctly and therefore pass through as intended.
However, the UK import agents will automatically add the default 20% VAT unless they are checking the declaration thoroughly ( unlikely ) so armed with the exporter's declaration and your collectibles information you should be able to have the overcharged VAT refunded. I realise you are asking if the shipment would simply pass straight through at the 5% rate and whilst it should, it is unlikely. When my latest Aussie shipment reaches the UK, I will find out, even with the 5% coding and collectibles etc clearly shown on the declaration.

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On 12/30/2016 at 12:05, sixgun said:

 I got a prompt reply from the Royal Mint about the £2 Britannia silver coin.

We already know the Britannia is legal tender. It is a £2 coin.

The Royal Mint tells me that the coin is in circulation

Customer Services

12:38 PM (4 minutes ago)
cleardot.gif
 
cleardot.gif
cleardot.gif
to me
cleardot.gif
Good Morning

 

Thank you for your email.

 

The £2 Britannia coin is actually in circulation and therefore can be used in the banks and shops.

 

I would not suggest that you use your silver coin in the shops however. If you log onto the BNTA website they will be able to advise you of a coin dealer in your area.

 

Kind Regards

 

Customer Services

- so by their definitions as it is a coin intended for circulation it is not a collectible coin. It would not fall into the 5% VAT category. It would be completely legitimate to be paid in £2 Britannias for goods and services and be taxed at their face value on any profit or income. I don't know of anyone who has done this but people ought to. 

If you ordered Britannias from outside the EU and as usual paid in fiat currency the Britannias would quite rightly be seen as something you bought as an item and not legal tender. If you paid in say USD you could argue it was a currency exchange transaction but i doubt they would view this favourably. However if you provided goods or services and were paid in Britannias [or any legal tender of any currency] then you are simply collecting your payment. You are being paid in legal tender. VAT is not levied on cash sent as payment for goods and services. It is not a goods or services, it is a payment for goods and services. 

I have never heard this being employed. It is playing the powers that should not be at their own fiat currency game.

 
   

It sounds like they are confusing it with the silver version of the circulating £2 coin with Britannia on.

 

http://blog.royalmint.com/britannia-returns-circualting-coins/

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