VAT on imports

Businesses generally report import VAT to the Swedish Tax Agency. However, businesses not registered for VAT in Sweden pay the import VAT to Swedish Customs. Swedish Customs also charge VAT on all goods imported for private use, whether or not the importer is registered for Swedish VAT.

When a VAT-registered importer declares goods for import, a customs value expressed in Swedish kronor must be declared. This applies whether or not the goods are subject to customs duty. The customs value shall be declared in box 47 ‘Calculation of taxes’ with code 1MT as ‘Type of tax’ and the customs value as ‘Tax base’. When the customs value is declared with code 1MT we call it monetary customs value.

When clearing the declaration, Swedish Customs will establish the monetary customs value, and communicate it to the importer in the periodical customs bill or, under certain circumstances, in a separate notification which the importer will receive from the customs agent. Based on the monetary customs value and the amounts charged in the import declaration the importer must then calculate the VAT tax base and report it to the Swedish Tax Agency in the VAT return.

Tax code A00, customs duty, is declared in the same way as before. Under ‘Tax base’ you declare either a customs value, a weight or a quantity on which the duty is calculated. In most cases, the duty is calculated as a percentage of the customs value. As a result, the customs value will be declared twice, once together with code A00 and once together with code 1MT. The reason for this is that code A00 is not always declared – for example if the goods are free of duty. The monetary customs value, with code 1MT, must however always be declared since it is used as a basis for the calculation of VAT.