Ecommerce Europe and EuroCommerce have launched an awareness campaign highlighting the importance of a single VAT ID registration, introduced by the European Commission in July for e-commerce sales.
The new rules extend the VAT One Stop Shop system to e-commerce distance selling and have introduced an Import One-Stop Shop (IOSS).
Ecommerce Europe and EuroCommerce support the legislation and have jointly launched a new website to raise awareness on the subject and prioritise the publication of the Commission’s legislation in 2022.
However, both bodies noted that the measures do not address the issue of VAT registration for sellers holding stock in multiple EU member states in order to be as close as possible to consumers.
In practice, e-merchants still have to maintain their foreign VAT registrations in every EU country where they are sending or holding stock.
Costly And Burdensome For SMEs
Luca Cassetti, secretary-general of Ecommerce Europe, added, “This is costly and burdensome, especially for SMEs. Introducing a single VAT ID registration number by extending the existing VAT OSS would greatly reduce administrative procedures and help businesses thrive in the EU Single Market.”
The extension of existing VAT OSS could apply to all shipments of merchandise where the seller of record is not located in the EU country of taxation, Ecommerce Europe and EuroCommerce recommended.
Areas of focus include cross-border movement of the seller’s own inventory across the EU and domestic sales from distribution hubs by a seller not established in that EU country.
Christian Verschueren, director-general of EuroCommerce, commented, “As retailers are major collectors of VAT, we have always supported any efforts to facilitate VAT compliance across the EU. The VAT e-commerce package has delivered much, but some barriers remain.
“We look forward to the Commission VAT in the Digital Age initiative to be presented in the coming months, and hope that they will use the opportunity to remove remaining barriers to digital trade and expand the VAT OSS to pan-EU storage and onward sales.”