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EU Special Arrangements exemption – July 2021 e-commerce package

The July 2021 EU ecommerce VAT package imposes obligations on EU and non-EU sellers making imports to consumer to charge VAT in the checkout on sales not exceeding €150. However, there is a ‘Special Arrangements’ exemption whereby the seller can have a postal service take over the VAT collections role.

Sellers and facilitating marketplaces of import consignments not exceeding €150 must collect the VAT at the checkout. They may then declare the VAT they collect on via the new Import One-Stop-Shop IOSS – a single return of all EU imports. The Special Arrangements is an optional alternative for them.

Special Arrangements let marketplaces off the import VAT hook

From 1 July 2021, all imports into the EU will be liable to VAT. The €22 VAT-free exemption will be withdrawn.

Sellers and deemed supplier marketplaces may alternatively opt to pass the import VAT collections to postal operators, express carriers and customs agents. Under the special arrangements, the customer pays the VAT to the declarant/person presenting the goods to customs. The Special Arrangements operators then pay the tax authorities on a monthly basis on a cash-received basis. The deadline will be the 16th of the month following the month of import.

Member states may allow operators to apply the standard VAT rate to all these transactions. This limits the risk of fraud or mistaken classification on reduced VAT rate goods, and helps the Special Arrangement operators who are unable to determine the correct VAT rate.

EU VAT reforms

Reform (click for details) Update
Contact VATCalc to learn how our single VAT determination, reporting and e-invoicing platform can help you manage and thrive with global compliance change
2035 Harmonisation of EU e-invoicing and domestic regimes Jan 2035
2030 Digital Reporting Requirements and e-invoicing harmonisation July 2030
Structured e-invoices supercede paper invoices July 2030
EC Sales lists replaced by Digital Reporting Requirements July 2030
2028 EU Customs reforms Published May 2023
€150 import consignment threshold removed Published May 2023
2027 Single VAT Registration in the EU - extension of OSS July 2027
Call-off stock VAT simplification ends July 2027
Harmonisation of B2B Reverse Charge rules July 2027
Proposal for VAT treatment of the platform economy July 2027
2026 DAC8 harmonised crypto asset reporting Approved May 2023
2025 VAT registration thresholds equivalence foreign businesses 1 Jan 2025
Virtual events VAT rule changes 1 Jan 2025
Financial Services VAT exemption reform proposals Consultation complete; proposal awaited
Tour operator margin scheme VAT reforms EC undertaking fresh review
2024 Payment providers' seller transaction reporting and bookkeeping obligations In effect since 1 Jan 2024
2023 DAC 7 - marketplace reporting harmonisation In effect since 1 Jan 2024
2022 IOSS reforms to prevent double taxation On hold
EU reduced VAT rate freedoms Entered into force 6 April 2022
VAT in the Digital Age proposals Published Dec 2022
EU DAC8 cryptocurrency tax reporting proposals Published Dec 2022
VAT Gap Initiative Q3 2022
EU Definitive VAT System On hold
2021 One-Stop-Shop (OSS) single EU VAT return In effect since 1 July 2021
Ending €22 import VAT exemption; new IOSS return In effect since 1 July 2021
Marketplace deemed supplier EU VAT reforms In effect since 1 July 2021
2020 EU four Quick Fixes for VAT In effect
Tax authorities anti-VAT fraud cooperation In effect
Tax Action Plan - 25 VAT and other tax reforms roadmap See 'VAT in the Digital Age' and others
2019 Simplification of e-services VAT compliance and thresholds In effect
Single and multi-use vouchers In effect
2018 Lower e-book and publications VAT rates In effect, although not all EU states have adopted the option


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