Supply and install of goods for European VAT

Where goods provided as a supply, they may also require assembly or installation.  If this is being done in a foreign EU member state, then there may be an obligation to register as a non-resident tax payer.

The supply and installation of goods (e.g. computer hardware, electrical systems etc.) is treated as a supply within the country where the assembly takes place.  This generally triggers an obligation to register for VAT under the EU VAT Directive.

However, most EU member states now offer exemptions under the VAT reverse charge rules, or provide some sort of thresholds, so VAT registration by a foreign supplier is rarely required.

EU Countries vary on VAT registration exemptions

Many EU member states now offer the reverse charge exemption for the assembly services.  Some examples of countries include:

  • Belgium – reverse charge
  • France – reverse charge
  • Germany – reverse charge
  • Spain – if the cost of the install is greater than 15% of contract, then VAT register


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