VAT, Customs & Excises

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OSS and Excise duties – Will I need to register? 

The One Stop Shop (OSS) introduction:

As of the 1st of July new simplification was introduced for the EU e-commerce companies. The One Stop Shop – OSS – was meant to lower the administrative burden for e-commerce businesses, selling their goods all over the EU. Before the 1st of July, businesses established in the EU and shipping goods of a certain worth to private individuals based in other EU countries had to register for VAT in the country of destination and declare their VAT duties in the said countries. For small businesses this meant a huge administrative load, not only for undergoing lengthy and costly VAT registration process, but also afterwards submitting VAT returns in multiple countries. Which means: keeping track of VAT regulations and administrative requirements in 27 different countries. Luckily, with the introduction of OSS, the e-commerce business can now focus on their expansion in the EU without being worried of their tax compliance. Once an EU established business opts for OSS, starting shipments to a new country simply means checking the VAT rate in the said country and adding additional lines on your OSS declaration. 

How does OSS work with excise duties declarations?

Nevertheless, there are some aspects of the OSS that still raises a debate on whether certain businesses can profit from it. One of such examples is the accountability of excise duties for alcoholic beverages. In the past couple of years, the market of online sold alcoholic beverages has grew tremendously, therefore, encouraging more and more old and new businesses to move their trade online. Unfortunately, the compliance burden for the traders of goods subject to excise duties is still very high. Whereas these traders are required to appoint a fiscal representative for excise duty purposes in each country of trading, it was expected that with the OSS at least the VAT matters can be resolved in their country of establishment. Theoretically, OSS states, that the goods subject to excise duties can be declared, for VAT purposes, in the country of business establishment, and no additional VAT registration in the EU is required. Nevertheless, as excise duties are managed by the Customs Authorities, which is usually not the same governmental body as the Tax Authorities responsible for VAT, the two does not always have an agreement on whether the VAT registration is required. 

As Eurotax experts are dealing with the matters of excise duties and VAT in all of the EU on a daily basis, we have noticed, that in certain countries the local VAT registration is nevertheless required by the Customs, in order to put in place the registration for excise duty purposes. 

Do you ship alcoholic to different EU countries? Or do you have to put into place OSS for your online business in the EU ? 

Contact our professionals to assist you with your tax obligations. 

We also invite you to visit our Alcohol Excises page for more information about our service. 

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