The European Commission has stated that the new EU rules on e-commerce VAT will apply from July 1, 2021. Earlier this change was assumed on January 1, 2021. This will give Member States and businesses more time to prepare for them.

The VAT e-commerce package aims to facilitate cross-border trade and fight VAT fraud. It also aims to ensure fair competition for businesses in the EU. Pursuant to the provisions that are to come into force in 2021, every entrepreneur who sells goods online or provides services to consumers and exceeds the annual turnover threshold of 10,000 euro, will have to settle accounts with the tax authorities according to the new rules.

Other important events that will affect cross-border e-commerce will include:

  • U.S. “STOP Act”, which involves the U.S. Customs processing on certain international shipments. It also requires prior electronic information on international postal items;

  • Norway, Australia and New Zealand are also introducing a solution that is comparable to the EU VAT solution. They therefore hope that other States will follow them;

  • The United Kingdom has announced that the low VAT threshold will be lifted on Brexit day, on January 31, 2021. That is, from February 1, EU countries will be treated as third countries. They will have to be subject to other rules regarding UK exports and imports;

  • Some countries such as: France (EUR 1), Great Britain (GBP 15), Cyprus (EUR 17.05), Denmark (DK 80), Sweden (EUR 0), have decided on the threshold for low VAT;

  • From March 31, 2021, shipping companies will have to comply with the requirement to provide a summary customs declaration. It will concern the import and export of parcels to the EU and Great Britain. The implementation of the ICS2 system supporting this information will not be postponed;

  • The cost of international distribution will increase significantly. It will result directly from international agreements (UPU) that regulate these costs. It is estimated that final fees will increase by 20% to 30% in 2020. On the other hand, growth expectations for 2025 range from 165% to 300% depending on the country of origin.

Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic has slowed down cross-border trade. The situation resulted in the closing of borders and the lack of air transport. On the other hand, it contributed to the rapid growth of domestic e-commerce. Cross-border transport, after starting the economy, should grow if new rules are introduced to facilitate its operation.

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