After the publication of the 2017 budget law in Portugal, the government will introduce postponed import VAT accounting in Portugal. This allows businesses importing goods into the country to avoid the payment of import VAT at the border. Instead, import VAT is self-accounted in the periodic VAT return under the reverse charge mechanism. It is still not clear what will be the procedure to apply for postponed import VAT accounting. We expect the forms and further details to be published in the coming weeks.
Payment of import VAT is generally due at the border. Because VAT can only be deducted once the VAT return is submitted, this requirement creates a cash-flow disadvantage for importers. Most countries have simplifications in place such as delaying the payment of import VAT (eg UK) or allowing this VAT to be reverse charged in the VAT return (eg. Spain, France, Slovenia and now Portugal).