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Parliamentary questions
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1 February 2017
Answer given by Vice-President Ansip on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-009289/2016

The proposed regulation on geo-blocking (2016/0152(COD)) does not change the VAT rules applicable to distance sales of goods laid down in the VAT Directive (2006/112/EC).

1. The Member States, in the VAT Committee, almost unanimously agreed to a guideline stating that the case of distance sales also covers situations where the supplier intervenes indirectly in the transport or dispatch of the goods. Such an indirect intervention will among others cover cases where the supplier actively promotes the delivery services of a third party to the customer, puts the customer and the third party in contact and provides to the third party the information needed for the delivery of the goods.

2. The proposal on modernising VAT for cross-border e-commerce amending the VAT Directive (COM(2016)757 of 1 December 2016) integrates this guideline in Article 33 of the VAT Directive. This is achieved by providing that the distance sales rules apply where the supplier intervenes ‘directly or indirectly’ in the transport of the goods. If the customer assumes the transport of the goods, without any indirect intervention by the supplier, then the supply remains taxable in the Member State where the supplier is established.

3. The VAT proposal referred to above also replaces the annual distance sales thresholds of EUR 35 000 or EUR 100 000 per Member State of destination below which distance sales remain subject to VAT in the Member State of the supplier with one annual EU-wide threshold of EUR 10 000. This will create a level playing field for online shops throughout the EU as, except for supplies benefiting from the threshold for microbusinesses, all intra-EU distance sales of goods will be subject to the VAT rate of the Member State of destination.

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