Recently, the Court of Justice of the European Union issued its decision in Case no. C-580/16 Firma Hans Bühler KG with respect to the application of the simplified triangulation measures, ruling that such measures can also apply if the buyer-reseller is established in or has a VAT number in the EU Member State from which the goods are dispatched.
The judgment is very important for entrepreneurs that are part of chain transactions, as currently there are many differences between the interpretations of Member States with respect to the application of these simplified measures. Some Member States refuse to apply them if the buyer-reseller is established in or has a VAT number in the EU Member State from which the goods are dispatched.
Consequently, according to this decision, in the case of a triangular transaction where one party (buyer-reseller) carries out an intra-community acquisition for the purposes of a subsequent supply to another taxable person (the final customer), and the goods thus acquired are directly dispatched or transported from the initial supplier to the final customer, the simplified measures will apply even if the buyer-reseller is established in or has a VAT number in the EU Member State from which the goods are dispatched, but it uses the VAT identification number of another Member State for that specific intra-Community acquisition. Under these circumstances, the buyer-reseller is no longer required to register for VAT purposes in the Member State of arrival.
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