Please note! our phone number has changed to +31 88 1211 300 Read more »

Intra-Community trade and transactions between EU countries

While the European Union is designed to facilitate efficient trade within the Union, there are still a number of complexities that companies engaging in cross-border transactions need to be aware of. To maximize efficiency, and avoid potential complications or penalties, it’s important that you fully understand the various conditions involved in delivering or receiving goods and services within the EU.

Transactions between different countries within the EU’s borders are referred to as intra-Community supplies and acquisitions. For example, when goods are supplied from the Netherlands to Germany, the Dutch company makes an intra-Community supply (ICS), and the German business makes an intra-Community acquisition (ICA). Your requirements as either supplier or acquirer are detailed beneath:

Conditions of intra-Community supplies to the Netherlands

As a non-Dutch supplier, you must:

  • Possess a valid VAT number in the country of your registered office.
  • State the following on the invoice:
    – 0% VAT
    – That the transaction concerns an intra-Community supply (ICS)
    – The VAT number of the recipient Dutch company
  • Ensure your goods are delivered to their end destination in the Netherlands.

Your Dutch recipient must:

  • Possess a valid VAT number for the Netherlands.
  • State the VAT chargeable on the ICA section of the VAT return (question 4b). However, this can generally be deducted simultaneously under question 5b in the same VAT return.
  • Submit an Intrastat statement to the Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek (Netherlands Statistics Office: CBS) if the total annual value of intra-Community acquisitions exceeds €1,000,000.

Conditions of intra-Community acquisitions from the Netherlands

Alternatively, you may be based in another EU country and receiving goods or services from a business in the Netherlands. In this scenario, there are different obligations that you and your Dutch trading partner must comply with.

As a non-Dutch recipient, you must:

  • Possess a valid VAT number in the country where you are receiving the goods.
  • Communicate the previously mentioned VAT number to your supplier.

Your Dutch supplier must:

  • Possess a valid VAT number in the Netherlands.
  • State the following on the invoice:
    – 0% VAT
    – That the transaction concerns an intra-Community supply (ICS)
    – The VAT number of the recipient company
  • Ensure that the goods actually leave the Netherlands, demonstrating this with the relevant accounts and documents.
  • Include the relevant ICS sales information in its VAT return (question 3b).
  • Submit an EC Sales Listing.
  • Submit an Intrastat statement to the CBS if the total annual value of intra-Community deliveries exceeds €1,200,000.

Expert support when you need it

Whether you are receiving or supplying goods within the EU, we recommend that you undertake a regular professional review of your processes and documents. This will ensure that nothing has been missed and that your transactions are being conducted properly in full compliance with the law.

Whatever your requirements, our International Desk will be happy to assist you – speak with a member of our team today to discuss exactly how we can help.

Disclaimer

The information provided above is a simplified representation of a delivery from A to B. Its purpose is solely to clarify this text and should not be interpreted as specific advice nor applied to individual contexts or situations. No business rights may be derived from this example and we advise you to always submit specific cases to a qualified tax specialist. While the content of this article has been drawn up with the utmost care, Bol Accountants B.V. accepts no liability whatsoever for any errors or inaccuracies in the information provided (or the consequences thereof).