The distance selling rules apply when a company sells and transports goods to private customers in other EU member states (for example via a webshop).
A company doing so is obliged to register for VAT purposes in the EU Member State of arrival of goods as soon as he exceeds the distance selling threshold (in most EU countries 35.000 EUR or 100.000 EUR). As long as the distance selling threshold is not exceeded, the supplier has the option to charge the applicable VAT rate of his own EU Member State (and does not require a foreign VAT registration), or to register for VAT purposes in the EU Member State of arrival of goods and to charge local VAT.
In this context, both the UK and Belgium asked the VAT committee how to understand ‘dispatched or transported by or on behalf of the supplier’. Very recently, the VAT committee is of the opinion that the supplier shall be regarded as having intervened directly or indirectly in the transport of the goods if:
The opinion of the EU VAT Committee has been confirmed in a recently published decision of the Belgian VAT authorities. It does no longer matter who carries out the transport of the goods. In any cases where the supplier carries out the transport of the goods himself or outsources the transport to a third party, the transport or dispatch of the goods will always be regarded as organized by or on behalf of the supplier, allowing Member States to collect VAT in the country of consumption.
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