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EU VAT invoices July 2021 e-commerce package

Parcel invoice and declaration rules following low-value consignments

The EU e-commerce package and UK e-commerce VAT reforms impose the obligation on sellers and marketplaces to charge VAT in their checkouts for transactions not exceeding €150 or £135. This comes with the obligation to produce a commercial invoice for the customs clearance process.

What is a parcel declaration?

A customs commercial invoice provides basic details for customs to understand the nature of goods, buyer and seller and what import taxes (customs duties/tariffs and VAT) are due. Most shipments will also require a customs declaration, too. Failure to include one will generally mean blocked deliveries and disappointed customers. When the shipments are above the rules of origin thresholds, a statement of origin is also required on the invoice.

Information required:

  • Description of the goods
  • Indicating if sales of goods/gift/return
  • Commodity code based on global WTO Harmonise Systems tariff codes 6-digits for UK. EU demands further two digits
  • Country of origin of the goods listed where the goods were produced, manufactured or assembled
  • Sellers name and address
  • GB or EU EORI number

2022 OSS and IOSS fixes are likely to no change these requirements.

CN22 and CN23 customs declarations for parcels

For parcels, either a CN22 or CN23 customs declaration form must be included with the above parcels. Packages weighing up to two kilograms with a value of up to €425 (£270 for UK) require a CN22 customs declaration.  The CN23 is used for packages weighing from two to 20 kilograms with a value of €425 (£279 for UK) or more.

The CN22 form is less detailed than the CN23 form. Often, it is attached to the address side of the parcel in the form of a sticker. The CN23 form contains more detail. It can be attached to the outside of the parcel in a transparent envelope along with a CP71 form*. If possible, attach this envelope on the same side as the shipping label.

* The CP71 form must be included as a supplement to the CN23. It serves as an address card. Make sure this document is enclosed in the transparent envelope and visibly attached to the parcel in cases where you do not wish for the carriers of the shipment to be able to see what the contents of the parcel are from the CN23 form.

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EU VAT reforms

Reform (click for details) Update
2025 VAT registration thresholds equivalence foreign businesses On track
Virtual events VAT rule changes Agreed
2024 Payment providers' seller transaction reporting and bookkeeping obligations On track
Digital Reporting Requirements (DRR), e-invoicing and live transaction reporting Implementation of VAT in the Digital Age?
2023 DAC 7 - marketplace reporting obligations on sellers' activities On track
Financial Services VAT exemption reform proposals Consultation complete; proposal 2023
Tour operator margin scheme VAT reforms EC undertaking fresh review
2022 EU definitive VAT system Member states not agreed on format
EU reduced VAT rate freedoms Enter into force 6 April 2022
IOSS reforms to prevent double taxation Proposals early 2022
VAT in the Digital Age proposals On track for Q3 2022 detailed proposal
Single EU VAT registration - extension of OSS for B2B and B2C On track for Q3 2022 detailed proposal
Proposal for VAT treatment of the platform economy On track for Q3 2022 detailed proposal
VAT Gap Initiative Q3 2022
2021 One-Stop-Shop (OSS) single EU VAT return In effect
Ending €22 import VAT exemption; new IOSS return In effect
Marketplace deemed supplier EU VAT reforms In effect
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
EU Generalised Domestic Reverse Charge VAT Mechanism In effect, although no country has adopted this voluntary option
2015 B2C electronic services VAT reforms - MOSS return In effect

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