Buying goods online coming from within the European Union
- Czech Republic
- Denmark (except the Faroe Islands and Greenland)
- Greece (except Mount Athos)
- Spain (except the Canary Islands)
- France (except French overseas departments, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, and Mayotte)
- Finland (except the Åland Islands)
- United Kingdom (except the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man)
There are no customs duties to be paid when buying goods coming from within the European Union.
VAT is calculated as a percentage (VAT rate) of the price of the goods.
The seller will calculate VAT based on either the VAT rate of the Member State from which the goods are shipped to the buyer (which is usually the Member State from which the goods are bought) or the VAT rate of the Member State into which the goods are shipped.
The VAT rate applied by the seller depends principally on the distance sales thresholds for intra-EU Business to Consumer (B2C) supplies of goods. They are determined by the Member State of destination (€ 35 000 or € 100 000). A seller has to check the total amount (without VAT) of distance sales in any one calendar year and also in the previous one:
- if that amount is lower than the threshold adopted by the Member State of destination, the seller can apply the VAT rate of the Member State from which the goods are sent;
- if that amount is higher than the threshold approved by the Member State of destination, the seller can apply the VAT rate of the Member State into which the goods are sent.
You can check the VAT rates applied in each country .
The principles mentioned don't apply to supplies of second-hand goods, works of art, collectors' items or antiques and second-hand means of transport, which have special arrangements.
There will be many cases when the seller will not inform you of the applicable VAT rate.
If the seller is required by the national regulation to issue an invoice, you will have the information about the VAT rate that has been applied.
It is the responsibility of the seller to pay the Excise Duty due in the Member State where the goods are being sent to. For that purpose, he has to be registered, as far as Excise Duty is concerned, in the Member State of destination of the goods. In most Member States the seller needs to appoint a tax representative in the Member State of destination who ensures the duty payment in the latter.
Excise Duty must be paid regardless of the quantity and even if the goods are a gift.
You should therefore expect the price you pay to reflect the payment of duty. If the price is very low, duty has probably not been paid.
If the seller does not pay the Excise Duty the goods can be seized by customs on arrival or you as the buyer may be held liable to pay the excise duties. Therefore verify with the seller if he ensures the excise duty payment in the Member State of destination.
|You should check with your national tax administration (national links/website) which has the competence in this matter.|