German call-off stock VAT registration

Sat 18th Mar 2017

The German Federal Tax Court (BFH) has ruled that non-resident companies providing call-off stock in German will no longer have to VAT register.  The tax authorities have yet to comment or apply the change.

The ruling, FG Hessen, concerned a Spanish company that held stocks with a German customer.  The customer controlled the terms of the stock warehousing and issuance, including free and exclusive access to the stock in Germany.   Delivery terms, pricing and stock levels had already been agreed in the terms of the contract between the two parties.

The BFH ruled that where the customer in German controlled the stock, it should be considered as call-off stock in the terms of the EU VAT Directive.  This means that any sale should be considered a nil-rated intra-community supply.  There is no obligation on the vendor to German VAT register.

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