Simplifying B2C imports to Europe, the European Commission has launched its IOSS (Import One Stop Shop) a voluntary online portal, to support the sale of goods up to €150 or £135.
The IOSS portal was introduced to help sellers cope with a change in rules, which now mean all exports, from non-EU retailers to an EU Member State, in a B2C sale, are subject to the destination country’s local VAT. Previously goods under €22 had not incurred VAT but this is no longer the case.
If you are a non-EU business, selling to the European public, then IOSS allows you to clear the correct VAT in any EU country, after only registering with one portal and one Member State of Identification.
New rules as of July 2021, mean all goods exported to the EU will be subject to VAT, removing the previous threshold of €22 minimum spend. The change is aimed at B2C ecommerce shipments. To make this transition easier for sellers, the European Commission has launched an IOSS.
IOSS is the Import One Stop Shop, an online portal introduced by the European Commission, to support the B2C export of goods to European Union countries up to €150 or £135. IOSS does not cover goods subject to excise duties, such as tobacco or alcohol.
No. Registering for the IOSS platform is not mandatory and you can continue to declare and pay VAT on EU imports as you have always done.
However, if you sell on a marketplace, such as Amazon or eBay, you must check how their policies are changing with the introduction of the IOSS. These marketplaces may collect and remit the VAT for your business, or you may have to action it yourself.
The IOSS (Import One Stop Shop) acts as an optional VAT registration scheme, which allows you to collect tax at the checkout.
The VAT collected at checkout is the one applicable in the EU Member State where the goods are to be delivered.
If your business is not based in the EU, you cannot implement the VAT at checkout option until you appoint an EU-established intermediary, to fulfil your VAT obligations under IOSS.
An IOSS Intermediary must be an EU-established taxable person, such as an accountant, who can handle the submission of IOSS VAT returns and payment of VAT on the distance sales of imported low value goods.
The Intermediary must register with the tax office of their member state of residency, once this is done, they will be granted a unique Intermediary Identification Number.
A Member State of Identification is a country to which you will file your monthly IOSS return for all the eligible goods sold to customers across the EU.
Your Member State of Identification will be either the Member State in which you have a business or – if you have no place of business in the EU – it is your chosen EU country.
Using IOSS will speed up the release of goods from customs to your buyer, because goods exported by an IOSS seller will only be checked for a valid IOSS number before being dispatched to the customer, instead of having to wait until the VAT has been cleared.
Joining the IOSS can also save your business time by reducing the administration burden, as you only register with one portal and one Member State of Identification to sell to the whole of the EU.
IOSS will show your customers the fees they will be charged at the point of sale, meaning they are unlikely to face an unexpected bill – and so more likely to be satisfied with their experience and shop with you again.
If you choose not to use the IOSS then ensure you continue to collect VAT as usual and inform customers of any delivery charges they can expect – at the point of purchase – to avoid delayed delivery of their goods.
When you sell without IOSS your customers will have to pay the VAT and usually a customs clearance fee charged by the transporter.
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