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18 Sept 2018

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Value Added Tax (VAT)


A short guide to VAT and VAT rules when selling across the EU and beyond.

VAT is explained, as is the complex way of treating VAT when selling across different EU member countries. We hope the film helps you make sense of it all!

View on YouTube - Vimeo


Value Added Tax (VAT) is imposed by member states of the EC on nearly all sales and services within the EC. The rates vary slightly within each member state.
If a seller is registered for VAT and claimed the VAT when purchasing an item, the seller must charge VAT when selling that item. 
Where a seller is registered for VAT and should charge VAT, then VAT must be charged by the seller even when the item is sold to a person living in another EC country. But, if the buyer is registered for VAT then no VAT is charged providing the buyer can provide his or her valid VAT number.
However, special rules apply to those who are registered for the 'Flat Rate VAT Scheme' in the UK.
Please see  

Export Duties
When an item is exported outside the EC, for example, from the UK to the USA; no VAT is charged, but the American buyer may well have to pay customs duties on import. No customs documentation is required for export within the EU. However it is likely that customs documentation will be required when exporting outside the EU. The shipping company should advise you on that.

Import Duties
If an item is imported into the EC, for example from Australia to The Netherlands, then it would be liable to customs duties and VAT. If the buyer is registered for VAT, the buyer can reclaim the VAT element.
We are unable to advise on import duties because they vary from country to country. We ask you contact your local customs office to ask what it will cost you.

The foregoing is a guide only. If you are registered for VAT, it is your responsibility to ensure you are complying with current regulations.
You will also need to check current rates.

EU Member states:


Austria Belgium Bulgaria Croatia Cyprus
Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Germany Greece
Finland France Hungary Ireland Italy
Latvia Lithuania Luxembourg Malta Poland
Portugal Romania Slovakia Slovenia Spain
Sweden The Netherlands  United Kingdom    

VAT Rates

VAT Number verification

VAT number format