E-commerce: the new VAT rules entered into force | Fieldfisher
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E-commerce: the new VAT rules entered into force



Last week the VAT rules applicable to distance sales have fundamentally changed.

Except in case of small e-commerce actors, new rules provides for all sales to final consumers to be systematically subject to VAT in the Member State of arrival of the goods.
Changes in a nutshell (reminder)

For intracommunity distance sales, the turnover thresholds previously imposed by each Member State (from 35.000 EUR to 100.000 EUR) for the compulsory application of the VAT in the Member State of arrival of the goods, is now replaced by a single EU-wide threshold of 10.000 EUR.

With respect to distance sales of goods imported from a third country, the VAT exemption for low-value consignments (up to 22 EUR) is abolished so that VAT is systematically due in Europe on the distance sales of imported goods. A specific regime is applicable for consignments with a value up to 150 EUR.
Marketplaces facilitating online sales are, under certain circumstances, liable for the payment of the VAT.

Simplified VAT reporting and payment mechanisms

Three optional and simplified VAT reporting and payment mechanisms are foreseen (so-called One Stop Shop or "OSS").

It has to be noted that a "Special Arrangement" is also foreseen for distance sales of imported goods where the seller is not using the (I)OSS.

Belgian developments

From the Belgian side, we note the following recent developments:
  • Belgium has opened the OSS registration since 1 April 2021. Registration need to be done through Intervat.
  • Various Royal Decrees were amended. The amending Royal Decree and the related Report to the King contains valuable explanations and can be found here
  • The tax authorities have already published an Administrative Circular on the VAT and customs implications of the import and export of low-value consignment goods (up to 150 EUR).

Depending on their supply chain and organisation, e-commerce operators may be confronted with multiple VAT regimes and obligations.

The new rules for e-commerce may bring simplifications for sellers, but also require these actors to reassess their VAT position based on their supply chain scheme.  

We are at your disposal in case of questions. Please do not hesitate to contact our Belgian tax team.

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