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Last checked: 13/02/2019

Cross-border VAT

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As of 30 March 2019, all EU law will cease to apply to the UK, unless a ratified withdrawal agreement establishes another date, or the European Council and the UK decide unanimously to extend the two-year negotiation period. For more information about the legal repercussions for businesses:

If your business is based in the EU, you have different VAT obligations depending where you buy from or sell to, and if you are trading in goods or services.

For example, if you sell a product to an EU-VAT registered business operating in another EU country, you don't charge VAT on that sale. If the same product is sold to the final consumer within the EU, you may need to charge VAT at the rate applicable in their country.

Find out more about the rules that affect you by using the options below.

 

I want to find out more about cross-border VAT

 

 

 

Selling goods to businesses based in another EU country

If you sell goods to a business and these goods are sent to another EU country, you do not charge VAT if the customer has a valid EU VAT number.

You may still deduct the VAT that you paid on related expenses, such as for goods or services purchased specifically to make those sales.

If your customer doesn't have a valid EU VAT number, you should usually charge VAT on the sale at the rate applicable in your country.

Be aware that there are several important exceptions to the rules.

 

Selling goods to the final consumer in another EU country

If you sell goods and send them to consumers in another EU country, you usually need to register your business there and charge VAT at the rate applicable in that country - unless the total value of your sales to that country within the respective tax year falls below the limit set by the country.

VAT thresholds for sales to EU countries

(Table last updated April 2018)

Member state Special scheme for distance selling
  National currency Euro equivalent*
Austria

EUR 35 000

 
Belgium EUR 35 000  
Bulgaria BGN 70 000 EUR 35 791
Cyprus EUR 35 000  
Czech Republic CZK 1 140 000 EUR 44 873
Germany EUR 100 000  
Denmark DKK 280 000 EUR 37 595
Estonia EUR 35 000  
Greece EUR 35 000  
Spain EUR 35 000  
Finland EUR 35 000  
France EUR 35 000  
Croatia HRK 270 000 EUR 36 291
Hungary   EUR 35 000
Ireland EUR 35 000  
Italy EUR 35 000  
Lithuania EUR 35 000  
Luxembourg EUR 100 000  
Latvia EUR 35 000  
Malta EUR 35 000  
Netherlands EUR 100 000  
Poland PLN 160 000 EUR 37 859
Portugal EUR 35 000  
Romania RON 118 000 EUR 25 305
Sweden SEK 320 000 EUR 31 390
Slovakia EUR 35 000  
Slovenia EUR 35 000  
United Kingdom GBP 70 000 EUR 80 197
*Euro foreign exchange reference rates as published by the European Central Bank for 23rd March 2018 (except Romania where the thresholds expressed in RON are based on the EUR values for special schemes at the exchange rate on the date of accession, i.e. 1.1.2007)

Be aware that there are several important exceptions to the rules.

In addition, there are special rules if you are selling excise goods or new means of transport, such as cars,boats or aircraft.

 

Selling services to businesses based in another EU country

If you sell services to businesses based in another EU country you don't usually need to charge your customers VAT. Your customers will pay VAT on the services received at the applicable rate in their country (using the reverse charge procedure).

You may still deduct the VAT that you paid on related expenses, such as for goods or services purchased specifically to make those sales.

Be aware that there are several important exceptions to the rules.

 

Selling services to the final consumer in another EU country

You must usually charge your customers VAT at the rate that applies in your country, except for telecommunications, broadcasting and electronic services, which are always taxed customer's country (where a private person has a permanent address or usually resides, or where a non-taxable person is established).

Be aware that there are several important exceptions to the rules.

 

Buying goods from another EU country

If you buy and receive goods for business purposes from another EU country, you must declare and pay VAT on the transaction as if you had sold the goods yourself, at the applicable rate in your country.

You can usually deduct this amount later on when you make your VAT declaration.

Be aware that there are several important exceptions to the rules.

 

Buying services from another EU country

If you buy and receive services for business purposes from another EU country, you must declare and pay VAT on the transaction as if you had sold the services yourself, at the applicable rate in your country (using the reverse charge procedure).

You can usually deduct this amount later on when you make your VAT declaration.

Be aware that there are several important exceptions to the rules.

These VAT rules must be applied throughout the EU, however the rules don't apply to the following territories belonging to or linked with member countries.

Special territories

  • The Åland Islands
  • The French Overseas Departmentsfr
  • The territory of Büsingen
  • The island of Heligoland
  • Mount Athos
  • Campione d'Italia
  • The Italian waters of Lake Lugano
  • Livigno
  • The Canary Islands
  • Ceuta
  • Melilla
  • The Channel Islands
  • Gibraltar

Be aware that the EU VAT rules do apply to the following places outside the EU:

  • Monaco
  • Isle of Man
  • UK bases in Cyprus

 

Selling goods to customers outside the EU

If you sell goods to customers outside the EU, you do not charge VAT. However, you may still deduct the VAT that you paid on related expenses, such as for goods or services purchased specifically to make those sales.

 

Selling services to customers outside the EU

If you provide services to customers outside the EU, you usually do not charge VAT. However, if the service is used in another EU country, that country can decide to charge the VAT.

You may still deduct the VAT that you paid on related expenses, such as for goods or services purchased specifically to make those sales.

 

Buying goods from outside the EU

If you buy goods for business use from a supplier based outside the EU, you must generally pay VAT at the point of import.

If you make taxed sales, you can usually deduct this amount later on when you make your VAT declaration.

 

Buying services from outside the EU

If you receive services for business purposes from a supplier based outside the EU, you should usually pay VAT at the applicable rate in your country, as if you had supplied the service yourself (using the reverse charge procedure).

You can usually deduct this amount later on when you make your VAT declaration.

 

Related topics

EU legislation

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Local business support - Do you have questions on operating a business cross-border, for example exporting or expanding to another EU country? If so, the Enterprise Europe Network can give you free advice.

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