International transportation

UAE logistics companies ought to deal with their 0% rated tax standing with excessive care

Whether or not it’s Worth Added Tax (VAT) or Company Tax, the logistic service trade must pay particular consideration to the scope of tax concessions.

As per international practices, worldwide transportation is usually zero-rated underneath the UAE VAT legal guidelines. The worldwide transport of passengers or items – whether or not it begins or ends within the UAE or passes by means of its territory – is zero-rated.

An fascinating ambiguity exists for worldwide transportation originating from a spot outdoors the UAE. If the place of provide is outdoors UAE, then such transportation companies must be outdoors the scope of UAE’s VAT. The logistics trade, nevertheless, ought to consider whether or not such companies are zero-rated or outdoors the scope of the VAT regime altogether.


Transport-related companies imply cargo, packaging and securing cargo, preparation of customs paperwork, container administration, loading, unloading, storing and shifting of products, or any one other intently associated companies. These are typically offered underneath following two eventualities:

Providers offered together with worldwide transportation. Providers offered independently with out worldwide transportation.

In my expertise, many logistic firms in UAE take into account transport-related companies as zero-rated in each eventualities. A pertinent query stays whether or not such companies are certainly zero-rated, particularly within the second state of affairs?

The zero-rating apparently applies on transport-related companies supplied with worldwide transportation. There aren’t any standalone zero-rating provisions solely for transport-related companies.

When a UAE logistic firm gives each worldwide transportation and transport-related companies to a buyer, it may be moderately inferred that each must be zero-rated. Nonetheless, if the UAE logistics firm gives solely transport-related companies, these might not qualify for zero-rating per se. In such instances, the companies must be standard-rated, if offered by the logistics firm to a different UAE entity or buyer.

Worldwide jurisprudence

VAT steerage on transportation companies issued by Saudi Arabia could possibly be referred to. The steerage gives an illustration whereby individual ‘X’ shifts his base from Riyadh to Beirut, and contracts a freight firm to maneuver his private belongings. ‘X’ asks the freight firm to retailer the products for an prolonged interval at its warehouse earlier than the cargo is made.

The storage cost is ancillary to – and supplied with – the worldwide transport of products by the freight firm and must be zero-rated.

However, a buddy of ‘X’ additionally wants some storage for his items. He makes use of the identical freight firm to retailer items, however later will get a special firm to courier the products to Beirut. On this case, the storage has been offered by a special firm to the provider of the worldwide transportation.

The storage companies are neither ancillary nor supplied with a global transport of products, and must be taxed at 5 per cent.

Penalties and tax arrears

With VAT shortly finishing six years since its implementation within the UAE, logistic service suppliers could possibly be at a threat of tax arrears and penalties if their present VAT positions are inconsistent with the legal guidelines. On a associated notice, revenue earned by logistics service suppliers in free zones is eligible for the 0 per cent company tax price.

Nonetheless, the preferential company tax price is topic to strict circumstances. The logistic service trade should tread very rigorously to stay eligible for 0 per cent company tax. I ardently consider that firms ought to comprehensively consider their present tax positions to keep away from penalty pitfalls both now or sooner or later.

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