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EU ecommerce VAT package – Special Arrangement import VAT

  • Jan 25, 2021 | Richard Asquith

The EU 27-member state will reform and simplify B2C cross-border VAT with its ecommerce VAT package on 1 July 2021. This will include a Special Arrangements scheme which enables sellers or deemed supplier marketplaces to opt out and pass the import VAT collection role to postal services.

Sellers and facilitating marketplaces of import consignments not exceeding €150 must collect the VAT at the checkout. They may then declare the VAT they collect on via the new Import One-Stop-Shop IOSS – a single return of all EU imports. The Special Arrangements is an optional alternative for them.

Special Arrangements let marketplaces off the import VAT hook

From 1 July 2021, all imports into the EU will be liable to VAT. The €22 VAT-free exemption will be withdrawn.

Sellers and deemed supplier marketplaces may alternatively opt to pass the import VAT collections to postal operators, express carriers and customs agents. Under the special arrangements, the customer pays the VAT to the declarant/person presenting the goods to customs. The Special Arrangements operators then pay the tax authorities on a monthly basis on a cash-received basis. The deadline will be the 16th of the month following the month of import.

Member states may allow operators to apply the standard VAT rate to all these transactions. This limits the risk of fraud or mistaken classification on reduced VAT rate goods, and helps the Special Arrangement operators who are unable to deteremine the correct VAT rate.

VP Global Indirect Tax
Richard Asquith
VP Global Indirect Tax Richard Asquith
Richard Asquith is VP Global Indirect Tax at Avalara, helping businesses understand their compliance obligations as they grow globally. He can be contacted at: He is part of the European leadership team which won International Tax Review's 2020 Tax Technology Firm of the Year. Richard trained as an accountant with KPMG in the UK, and went on to work in Hungary, Russia and France with EY.
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