There is no denying that transporting goods from one country to another isn’t an easy process if you have never done it before. There is a lot to think about, legal requirements to adhere to and you need to ensure you are also compliant throughout. One of the main things that is frequently questioned when transporting goods is VAT.
If you import, acquire or buy goods or services from abroad then you may have to pay VAT, however, you may be able to defer, suspend, reduce or obtain relief from import VAT. Understanding how VAT works on imported goods is essential, especially if you are transporting items as a business. To help you understand the VAT rules as an IOR, Blackthorne Global Transport has put together a guide of the basics you need to know about VAT rules for you to refer to when required.
Ultimately, if you are importing anything into an EU country from a non-EU seaport on your own or via an experienced IOR service, your goods will be classified as imports and will be subjected to a fixed VAT rate.
There is no denying that the VAT rules and compliances are complex and not easy to understand, especially if you are transporting the goods yourself without any help. For this reason, as well as many other benefits, we would always recommend that when importing or exporting goods as a business you do so with the help of any experienced Importer of Record (IOR) services.
You may be surprised to hear that there are in fact instances where no VAT is required to be paid. To put it simply, this happens when shipping items are being transacted in between two EU countries. Nonetheless, IOR services need to meet certain conditions for this to happen.
The requirements for VAT exemptions include:
Both parties involved in the transaction must have a valid VAT number issued by an EU member
The importer’s or IOR service’s foreign customer VAT must be verifiable through EU VIES system
You must have tangible proof that the goods movements have happened across the border (this proof is usually furnished by IOR through goods transport documentation)
As an IOR or an individual importer, you used to be able to work without having a valid VAT number. However, possessing VAT numbers has now become mandatory for every importing entity. So, even if you are not looking for VAT exemptions, you still need to have a valid VAT number so that EU customs can assess you for any tax liability.
Whether or not you need to have a VAT number in the country of import depends on which country you are going to send your goods to. It isn’t uncommon for you to need multiple VAT numbers in different counties to distribute goods. For example, there are many instances where an IOR with a French VAT number needs to have a German VAT to transport their goods.
After reading the basics when it comes to VAT rules if you think that it seems to be quite complicated then you may want to seek assistance from an expert in this field. Working with a company that can provide you with experienced IOR services and ship the items on your behalf as per the VAT rules and compliances will be the best option.
Not only will working with an experienced professional IOR help in regard to VAT but, they can also help with all other aspects of the transportation. They can assist you with everything from licences for export/import to export guidelines and documentation.
If you are specifically looking for an IT equipment importer/exporter, then Blackthorne can provide you with the Importer of Record services that you require. They can provide the specialist support you need to help ensure quick, efficient and reliable importing and exporting of IT equipment worldwide.