German consignment call-off stock
For foreign businesses holding stocks in Germany without a permanent establishment (local company, staff, offices etc.) there may be a requirement to register for German VAT to report the intra-community movements of goods into Germany and subsequent sales to local customers. You can read about the EU Consignment and Call Off stock here.
German VAT stock simplification
For EU VAT compliance purposes, there are two types of stock regimes. Below is a summary of how they are applied in Germany:
German Call Off Stock
Where goods are held under the full control of a single German customer (although legal title has not fully passed till the goods are retrieved) there is a simplification exception to remove the requirement to VAT register the foreign company in Germany. Instead, the seller treats the movement of the goods to Germany as a zero-rated sale immediately.
German Consignment Stock.
Where goods are held in a warehouse for multiple customers, and remain under the control of the foreign company, the foreign company must German VAT register to report the movement and sales of goods.
Note, if the goods are coming from outside the EU, they are a VAT import (as opposed to an intra-community supply), and a registration may be required on this basis alone.Click for free German VAT info