EC sales list (ESL)

Another supplementary reporting requirement for companies selling across European Union borders is the EC Sales List (ESL).  This provides details of sales or transfers of goods and services to other VAT registered companies in other EU countries.  The tax authorities around Europe use ESL’s to check that VAT is being properly and fully declared by all parties in cross-border transactions.

The listing was originally intended only for the sale of goods, but it was extended to sale as part of the 2010 VAT Package.



What goes into the ESL?

  • The names of EU customers
  • Their VAT numbers (you may check this on the VIEW system)
  • Their country code
  • The value of sales, or credit notes, in the reporting period

How to report the ESL?

ESL are typically filed with the EU VAT return.  Countries have different reporting frequency – monthly or quarterly.  Filings are now mostly electronic.