ECJ VIES not required on nil rating

Fri 10th Feb 2017

The European Court of Justice has ruled that a customer is not required to have a VIES registered VAT number as a condition for a seller to zero-rate an intra-community supply.

The ruling in Euro Tyre BV (Case C-21/16) concerned a Polish customer which presented a valid Polish VAT number which was not listed on the VAT Information Exchange System. This is an online database of EU VAT numbers on which companies can cross check the authenticity of VAT numbers.

The ECJ ruled that member states could not preclude zero-rating on the sole grounds that the number could not be found on VIES. Other evidence of fraud had to be present.