As part of the e-commerce package VAT exemptions for the import of goods in so-called small parcel countries up to 22 euros in all EU Member States. In addition, Internet sales platforms will be charged with the obligation to collect and pay VAT on certain transactions carried out through them.
For buyers, these changes mean that Internet purchases made outside the European Union – most often in China – will be more expensive. And it is precisely shopping on platforms like AliExpress that has become very popular in recent years. Attractive prices and often atypical products attract many customers, also Polish, who are ready to wait weeks for orders sent from China (recently the shipping time for some parcels has been shortened).
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Finished 10 million shipments per year, and according to the report of the European Court of Auditors only 35 percent. When shopping in Asia, VAT is charged and the EU loses annually up to 3.8 billion euros. Regulations are in place an attempt to limit the influx parcels with untaxed goods from third countries to the European Union i regulating competition between European platforms and Chinese platforms.
– The solutions included in the e-commerce package facilitate the settlement of VAT on the sale of goods and services to consumers in other EU Member States. In addition to that, certainly they will improve the competitiveness of European and Polish entrepreneurs compared to those outside the EU– said Tadeusz Kościński, Minister of Finance, Funds and Regional Policy in April.
– Like most EU economic regulations, also and the VAT package for e-commerce aims to create a protective barrier for non-European businesses and to stimulate the internal market, which is intended to benefit Polish entrepreneurs. The fact is, however, that some of them import cheap products from China and then resell them on the Polish market, which is why their introduced VAT will be particularly painful – explains Artur Halik, sales manager of the shop platform in Shoppers line.
Halik points out that more and more products are being shipped to the end customer from various logistics centers in Europe, not just directly from China, so not all purchases will necessarily be charged. This is how, for example, AliExpress, which has a logistics center in the Netherlands, works.
– However, there are many indications that we will face an increase in the prices of goods purchased outside the EU and possibly also in the costs of logistics services, if, for example, courier companies get more obligations due to the levy of VAT – adds the expert .
The regulations included in the e-commerce package also assume extension of the scope of transactions which, with regard to VAT, can be settled using the simplified one-stop-shop procedure. It provides for a single turnover threshold for all Member States, above which it will be possible to pay VAT in the country of the supplier and at the rate applicable there.
Changes to VAT registration by online shops
After July 1, businesses selling by consignment to customers in EU countries will have a choice. After crossing the sales threshold of 10 thousand. euro, they can register for VAT in the country where their consumers are located or use the OSS procedure.
If you choose OSS, VAT registration in the countries of sale will no longer be necessary. This procedure will allow the joint declaration of all shipping transactions made in the EU in a single VAT declaration. Thus, it will create an attractive opportunity for online sellers to enter other EU markets with their goods, with fewer formalities than today.
– It is true that Polish online stores sell abroad, but still not at the level we all would like. According to government reports, only 4 percent Polish companies sell products and services online to other countries, the EU average being 7 percent. – Artur Halik predicts.
July 1st is the deadline for the e-commerce package
The e-commerce package is to apply in Poland from July 1, but the bill introducing it did not come out of parliament all the time. The Sejm adopted it in the second half of May and last Wednesday it was processed by the Senate committees. The project must still be examined by the Senate in plenary session. If amendments are submitted to the upper house, the document will be returned to the Sejm, and only then to the office of President Andrzej Duda.
As “Dziennik Gazeta Prawna” recently wrote, a country that fails to implement the e-commerce package by July 1 must consider infringement procedureswhich may give rise to a complaint to the Court of Justice of the EU.