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last updated: 29th July 2011

When purchasing goods and services from suppliers located outside the UK, there are specific issues that must be considered and addressed. These include:

Tax and duty liabilities when importing goods 
goods and services purchased from non-UK suppliers are not subject to VAT however they are subject to customs charges which equate to UK VAT. See also Import duty and Relief and Re-importation of repaired goods

Methods of paying for the goods
due to the nature of international trade, a number of different forms of payment have been developed.

Transportation issues
when goods are in transit between the supplier and the recipient, it is important to know who has ownership and, therefore, is responsible for their well being, including insurance.

Legal jurisdiction
Should a serious problem arise, it may be necessary to determine under whose legal jurisdiction the matter will be resolved ie the supplier’s or the purchaser’s?  In major contracts this will have been agreed and be clearly stating in the contract terms and conditions. Otherwise, jurisdiction is usually deemed to be at the place where the contract is performed.

Any queries or concerns be should discussed with your Head of Procurement.

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