It should be noted that the Official Participant must register for VAT if the value of their taxable supplies or imports (for commercial or non-official purposes) in the UAE exceeds, or is anticipated to exceed, the mandatory registration threshold of AED 375,000. For details on how to register for VAT, please refer to VAT User Guide (Registration, Amendments, De-registration).

A person may only recover VAT incurred in the UAE on Goods and Services, where the Goods and Services are used or intended to be used for making taxable supplies. Where incurred expenses do not relate to any taxable supplies made by the person, VAT is not recoverable.

In respect of imports made by Official Participants, it should be noted that they may use the special TRN (Tax Registration Number) allocated to the Bureau, in coordination with the Bureau, where the goods fall under Categories A and B, and they hold a Certificate of Refund Entitlement. Where the special TRN is used, no import VAT will be imposed in respect of the goods, and such goods should not be included in any refund application.

Notwithstanding the above, Official Participants are able to reclaim VAT incurred on the import and acquisition of the following four categories of Goods and Services without the need to use them for making taxable supplies:

  1. VAT incurred by the Official Participant on Goods and Services in direct connection with the construction, installation, alteration, decoration and dismantlement of their exhibition space;
  2. VAT incurred by the Official Participant on Goods and Services in direct connection with the operation of their exhibition space and any presentation within the Expo 2020 site;
  3. VAT incurred by the Official Participant on Goods and Services relating to the actual operation of the office of the Official Participant, provided that the value of each Good or Service for which a claim is made is not less than AED 200; and
  4. VAT incurred on import of Goods for personal use of the Official Participant’s Section Commissioner-General, Section Staff and the Beneficiaries.

It should be noted that in order to be eligible to reclaim VAT on expenses under categories A and/or B, the Official Participant must be in possession of a Certificate of Refund Entitlement issued by the Bureau.

Payment of the Tax upon sale of imported goods

Where a refund has been granted to the Official Participant in respect of any import of Goods, the Goods cannot be sold for Consideration or transferred free of charge without the prior consent of the Bureau, and without payment of the Tax.

In order to obtain approval, the following steps must be followed:

1- Submit Consent of Sale Request Form

  • Before the sale of the Goods, the Official Participant must request an approval of the sale by submitting the “Consent of Sale Request Form” to the Bureau. The form shall be submitted electronically.
  • The Official Participant is required to disclose the quantity and sales price of the relevant imported goods which are to be sold. Furthermore, the Official Participant must indicate in which refund claim it reclaimed the VAT in respect of import of the relevant Goods.
  • It will take up to 10 business days for the Bureau to provide the approval of the sale. Each approval notification will contain the special approval reference number.

2- Payment of VAT

Once the Official Participant has received the approval on the sale notification from the Bureau, it may proceed with the sale of the Goods.

Following the completion of the sale, the Official Participant should account to the FTA for the amount equal to 1/21 of the sale price of the goods. The method of payment to the FTA will depend on whether or not the Official Participant is registered for VAT:

  • If the Official Participant is not registered for VAT, it shall make the payment of the VAT amount to the Bureau and the Bureau will record this on the VAT return of the special TRN allocated for this purpose. The Bureau will keep records of the sale notifications granted by it.
  • If the Official Participant is registered for VAT, it should include the amount of VAT into Box 1 of the VAT return relating to the month in which the Goods were sold.

Following the completion of the payment, the Official Participant shall provide a copy of the sales invoices to the Bureau.

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The entire contents of this article is solely for information purpose and have been prepared on the basis of relevant provisions and as per the information existing at the time of the preparation.. It doesn't constitute professional advice or a formal recommendation. The author has undertook utmost care to disseminate the true and correct view and doesn't accept liability for any errors or omissions. You are kindly requested to verify & confirm the updates from the genuine sources before acting on any of the information's provided herein above.

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