German low value consignment stock VAT

Fri 3rd Jul 2015

The German fiscal court (BFH) ruled this year on the details of the application of import VAT relief for small consignment sales to consumers.

Under the EU VAT Directive, imports of small value packages are exempt from the usual import when sold to EU consumers. EU member states are free to set their own limits. Germany’s, along with most EU states is €22 per transaction per day per individual consumer.

In a case this year, the BFH ruled that if a non-EU importer appoints an carrier with a German fixed establishment as the declarant for import at customs, then import VAT becomes liable if the correct declaration is not made. The German agent did not do this.

The EC has proposed withdrawing the low-value consignment stock relief mechanism as it provides an unfair advantage to non-EU importers over local providers.