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Customs and Excise Division

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Public counter hours

Monday to Friday
10am to 2pm

You are encouraged to make appointments before visiting and they can also be arranged outside of counter opening hours on request.

Staff are available to assist you with your enquires by phone and email from 8.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday.

Contact details

Customs and Excise Division

P.O. Box 6

Custom House

North Quay


Isle of Man

IM99 1AG

Report any suspicious activity you may see on the anti smuggling phone line number +44 1624 648110, via email on, or alternatively by ringing the 24 hour Customs Hotline line on 0800 595000.

Who we are

We are the Isle of Man’s indirect tax, customs and financial sanctions authority. Our vital work collects indirect tax money that helps pay for the Isle of Man’s public services. We also ensure that customs and excise controls, and financial sanctions are implemented and enforced.

Our office is based in Douglas, situated by the steam railway station and the staff of approximately 55 cover all aspects of Customs and Excise work.

The Collector of Customs and Excise is Sandra Simpson.

What we do

From 1765 to 1979, the collection of customs revenues in the Isle of Man was undertaken by UK Customs and Excise staff. From 1980, under the terms of the Customs and Excise Agreement of 1979 with the UK, the collection of customs revenue has been undertaken by Manx civil servants. 

The current Customs and Excise Agreement covers customs duties and many other (but not all) indirect taxes. The agreement, which is backed by both UK and Manx legislation, means that for VAT, customs and most (but not all) excise duty purposes the 2 territories are treated as if 1. Most of these indirect taxes and duties are pooled and shared. This negates the need for customs barriers between the 2 countries. Manx legislation exists which mirrors the equivalent UK law where required.

The responsibilities of the Customs and Excise Division include

Collection and enforcement of Indirect taxes


VAT (Value Added Tax) is a tax added to most products and services sold by VAT-registered businesses.

Businesses have to register for VAT if at the end of any month their total value of taxable supplies in the preceding 12 months, on a rolling 12-month basis is more than £85,000. They can also choose to register if their turnover is less than £85,000.

Customs duties

Most goods produced in the UK, or properly imported into the UK, can be brought into the Isle of Man without further customs formalities. Goods brought directly to the Island would be subject to similar import prohibitions, restrictions and licensing that would apply if they were imported into the UK.

Excise duties (alcohol, hydrocarbon oils and tobacco)

Tobacco Duty is included in the price you pay for cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco products.

Alcohol duties are included in the price you pay for beer, cider or perry, wine or ‘made-wine’, and spirits. Made-wine is any alcoholic drink made by fermentation that’s not beer, cider, perry, spirits or wine.

Fuel Duty is included in the price you pay for petrol, diesel and other fuels used in vehicles or for heating.

You also pay standard rate VAT at 20% on alcohol, tobacco products and most fuel, or the reduced rate of 5% on domestic heating fuel.

Gambling Duty

Gambling Duty is payable by an operator on the gambling yield of any gambling, whether or not the operator is licensed and whether or not the gambling is lawful, or on the gross amounts charged by a betting intermediary (whether by deduction from winnings or otherwise for use of facilities provided by the intermediary).

Machine Games Duty

Machine Games Duty (MGD) is charged on the playing of “dutiable machine games” in the Island. Not all machine games are dutiable. It is not payable on machines that only offer non-cash prizes, or only cash prizes that are less than the cost to play.

A “machine game” is a game played on a machine for a prize.

A machine game is dutiable if:

  • the prize - or at least one of the prizes that can be won - is cash, or includes cash; and
  • at least one of the cash prizes is bigger than the smallest amount that is paid to play the game once.

Air Passenger Duty

Air Passenger Duty is due on chargeable flights from airports in the Isle of Man.

Soft Drinks Industry Levy

The levy is aimed at producers and importers on the Island of soft drinks containing added sugar.

Plastic Packaging Tax

If you have manufactured or imported 10 or more tonnes of plastic packaging since 1 April 2022, you may need to register for the tax.

Administration, implementation and enforcement of financial and trade sanctions

The Isle of Man Customs and Excise Division is responsible for the implementation of UN and UK financial and economic sanctions and export and trade licensing controls in the Isle of Man.

Enforcement of import and export prohibitions and restrictions

The enforcement of export controls is the responsibility of Customs and Excise in the Island, and HMRC and Border Force in the UK.

The Export Control Organisation, as part of the UK Department for International Trade undertakes compliance work, including visits to licence-holders, and deals with licence applications.

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