A new EU VAT system and import scheme has been brought in by the European Union which will see the end of the VAT exemption threshold which allowed for tax-free import of goods valued at 22 EUR or less. This has had a significant impact on distance sellers who sell goods in the EU, whether independently or using global marketplaces such as Amazon or Spotify. As a result, the EU also brought in a new import scheme, called the Import One-Stop-Shop (IOSS), which aims to simplify VAT payments for registered businesses and fast-track shipments sent under the scheme thanks to some of the features required by businesses who sign up. The scheme is optional, but it aims to provide advantages for businesses for sell low-value goods, meaning any imports valued at 150 EUR or less, in the EU.
Businesses established in the EU have a choice of registering directly for the scheme (known as OSS) or signing up via a fiscal intermediary (which is based in Europe and will facilitate the payment of VAT on the sellers behalf). Any business which is not established in the EU does not have the option to register directly and therefore must appoint an IOSS fiscal intermediary (or representative). As the UK is no longer in Europe, there is no such thing as a IOSS intermediary UK, as intermediaries have to be based in the EU. However, Ship24 does offer IOSS intermediary services for UK businesses, click here to find out more.
An IOSS intermediary acts as a fiscal representative for businesses or the marketplace regarding IOSS in the EU. For this reason, the business must be registered in one of the 27 member states in the EU, where it will be responsible for declaring and paying the Value Added Tax of all goods sold in the EU for each business or marketplace it represents.
While some intermediaries will simply facilitate the declaration and payment, Ship24's IOSS UK intermediary services provide much more, such as ongoing EU compliance support, help using and declaring your VAT and rapid IOSS registration, with companies receiving their IOSS numbers in as little as 3 working days.
Ship24 are the shipping experts, with services including global shipment tracking and logistics solutions alongside our concrete intermediary services. If you want to find out more check out our dedicated IOSS solutions page or reach out to our team and we will be more than happy to help. If you have some more specific questions regarding the use of couriers under IOSS, such as with Royal Mail or DHL, check out our pages. Alternatively, if we also have FAQs for businesses using Shopify, WooCommerce and Amazon.
As the UK chose to leave the EU in 2020, a move dubbed as Brexit, businesses cannot register for the import scheme directly and must do so via an IOSS intermediary (which must be based in the EU, such as Ship24).
As the VAT rates when selling goods in the EU varies between countries, it doesn't matter which country your IOSS intermediary is based in, as you will still pay the corresponding VAT rate set in the country where you sold goods. Equally, it doesn't matter where you import goods into the EU, the VAT rate will still be set at where the buyer is based. For instance, if you import goods into Germany for final delivery in France, you will pay the French VAT rate as that is the final destination of the products.
Ship24 is already a IOSS intermediary for many businesses around the world, including large and small enterprises in the UK. Ship24 is the natural choice as an UK IOSS intermediary because our services are delivered in English and our team has lots of knowledge and experience when it comes to post-Brexit IOSS compliance and tax representation in the EU.
Our competitive price plans offer all of the advantages of the IOSS system, including EU-wide tax representation and ongoing VAT declaration and payment support, as well as providing one of the fastest turnarounds on UK IOSS intermediary registration worldwide. Talk to one of our friendly team or find all the answers to your IOSS intermediary questions with our comprehensive fiscal intermediary FAQs.
Once you have registered with us, you will receive both notification of your registration directly from the EU tax authorities, and once your application has been confirmed you will also receive your IOSS number directly from the relevant tax authority also.
All IOSS numbers are issued by the tax authorities and made available electronically to the applicant to use (whether business or marketplace) and to the customs authorities in the EU to make sure goods sold under your IOSS are identified as having their VAT prepaid by customers and collected by the registered company, meaning they can be released from customs immediately.
As a result of customs ability to make an automatic check of the validity of your number on their data base, IOSS packages will be delivered much faster and it will eliminate 'hidden fees' - such as processing or handling fees - for consumers, meaning better post-purchase experiences for all stakeholders.
The only third-party who should receive your IOSS number should be the person who declares the goods to customs (e. g. express carriers, postal operators
customs agents, etc. ).
A seller, regardless of which electronic interface they are using to sell goods, is responsible for charging the VAT when selling goods to customers in the EU. The correct VAT rate is the one applicable in the EU country where goods are sold (where the goods will finally be delivered to the customer/are purchased from). The seller must record and collect this information, in order to declare it and pay it forward to the IOSS intermediary, who will pay it to the relevant tax authorities on the companies behalf.
For more information on varying VAT rates across the 27 EU countries, please check the EU website directly.
Please note, in order to allow for the fast-track and release of goods under the scheme, the customs declarant must be able to provide a valid IOSS number to avoid double taxation.
When you register for the scheme with your IOSS intermediary, you will receive your IOSS number from the EU authorities directly, upon successful completion of your registration.
An IOSS VAT identification number will be 12 characters long and may contain letters, numbers or both.
The business or marketplace selling goods must be responsible for collection, declaration and payment of the correct amount of VAT during each declaration period. However, those who are registered with Ship24 as their IOSS intermediary, will receive extra support from us to make sure each VAT declaration is correct (by checking with EU tax authority data) before sending, to double-check your data before sending. This is just one of the ways that Ship24 goes the extra mile for our clients to make sure they are meeting IOSS obligations and able to benefit from the advantages registration with the service provides. This is all part of our service package, which is charged at a very competitive monthly rate. Find out more on our dedicated IOSS solutions page or contact a member of our knowledgeable international team today to get the IOSS intermediary experts on your side.