Non-EU Overseas Online Retailers who hold stock in the UK are totally out of reach from prosecution by HMRC under the current laws. They are safe in the knowledge they can simply disappear without paying any undeclared VAT and reappear under a new company without any prospect of HMRC prosecuting them.

  • HMRC has issued over 43,500 VAT numbers to Non-EU Overseas Online Retailers (mostly since 2014).
  • HMRC estimate Online VAT Fraud is £1.5 billion a year, 60% of which is by Non-EU Overseas Online Retailers.
  • HMRC has only collected £150 million in VAT from Non-EU Overseas Online Retailers; about £37 million per year.
  • £37 million represents 3.89% of what should be collected.
  • This equates to a total of 96.11% or £865 million that is still going uncollected.

The system clearing isn’t working. It is completely and utterly broken.


The UK must follow in the steps of France & Italy who require Non-EU companies to appoint a Fiscal Representative and Bank Guarantee.

  1. Make all Non-EU Overseas Online Retailers appoint a Fiscal Representative and Bank Guarantee
  2. Make all UK Registered Companies owned by Non-EU Residents appoint a Fiscal Representative and Bank Guarantee

HMRC list of Deliberate Tax Defaulters

HMRC has published a list of deliberate tax defaulters. It now lists 19 Chinese Online Retailers, who in total owe HMRC £24,251,210.62.

One Chinese retailer, Ekey Technology Ltd, owes £6,423,728.80. We reported this seller to HMRC in March 2017. They operated 24 eBay accounts. We wonder how much stock HMRC seized.