The European Services Declaration (DES) has been a requirement since January 2010 for French businesses supplying services to companies based in other member countries of the European Union. The European Services Declaration lists all transactions conducted and must be filed with the Department of Customs so that it can audit VAT taxation on the provision of intra-community services.

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Currently, when a French company subject to VAT provides intra-community services, it must complete a European Services Declaration (DES). Unlike the Trade of Goods Declaration (DEB), there is no minimum amount up to which the DES is not required: when the service provided is intra-community in nature, a DES must be prepared from the first euro.

The customs authority is responsible for the technical side of the European Services Declaration (for example, online filing), while the Public Finances Directorate General  (DGFiP) handles all regulatory matters (for example, assistance for online tax filers, the nature and place of the provision of the services concerned, guidance, the concept of a taxable person or entity, place of business and permanent establishment, etc.).

Any company engaged in intra-community service provision is required to complete a European Services Declaration (DES), excluding the following services:


Travel agencies 

Services related to an immovable property 

Passenger transport services

Services related to the organization of cultural, sporting, artistic, educational, scientific, entertainment or similar events, fairs and exhibitions

Sales for immediate consumption 

Short-term transport hire 

Services automatically exempted in the member country of the customer.


  • A monthly declaration is required within 10 working days of the month following that in which the VAT is due in the other member state for the service provided. As in the case of the DEB, a DES must be filed using the teleservice accessible at the website, where declarations can also be archived and which offers a simulation module.


Fines will be imposed in the event of failure to produce the declaration within the DES time limit, (from 750 € to 1,500 €), or in the case of omissions or inaccuracies, (15 € per error, up to a maximum of 1,500 €), or of non-compliance with the online filing procedures.



des- déclaration d'échange de biens


premier point à retenir sur la déclaration européenne de services

The European Services Declaration must be filed with the Department of Customs at its official website:

deuxième point essentiel concernant la déclaration européenne de services

There is no threshold for the DES, unlike the DEB

troisième notion sur la déclaration européenne de services

The term Intrastat is the name used to designate the DEB and DES in the other member countries of the European Union

quatrième notion sur la déclaration européenne de services

Heavy legal penalties may be imposed in the event of failure to submit the DES, with fines of up to 1,500 € per month of failure to submit a declaration

cinquième notion importante sur la déclaration européenne de services

Companies are legally entitled to use outside contractors to handle the DEB/DES/Intrastat on their behalf

sixième et dernier point essentiel à retenir sur la déclaration européenne de services

The DEB and the DES are two separate declarations. The DES becomes mandatory following the first service provision

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From 1st January 2010, in support of an effort to achieve greater success in combating VAT fraud in the European Union, every intra-community service provider must fulfil an additional requirement: the European Services Declaration. Failure to comply renders the company liable to penalties.

Although processing the DES may appear straightforward, it may actually prove to be a complex and burdensome undertaking, particularly because of the regulatory analysis which precedes the declaration and which must include several elements such as:​

criteria for exemption

due dates

special cases

overlaps within Europe


  • Subcontracting your DES to experts allows you to benefit from a comprehensive, professional and efficient service, fully compliant with the current regulations and declaration submission deadline.



Our expertise and especially our processing centre dedicated to preparing and managing your European Service Declarations can assist you in several ways: in short, outsourcing the management of your DES lifts an extra burden from your staff in dealing with particularly complicated regulations and gives you security and peace of mind.

The following are some of the issues we can handle:

Analysis and study of the services provided 

Monthly review of invoices and declarations

Production and distribution of monitoring tools to ensure consistency between your filed declarations and accounts presented 

Assistance in the event of an administrative inspection

Establishment of specific training in processing the DES


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icône établissement vérification


Preparation, verification and filing of DEB, DES and Intrastat

icône analyse et contrôle


Detailed monthly analysis and monitoring of all your transaction flows

icône saisie et vérification


Input and verification of the accuracy of invoices and customs nomenclature

icône nomenclature douanière


Research and verification of the customs nomenclature

icône assistance


Assistance during an administrative or customs inspection

icône formation


Organisation of specific training in processing the DEB/DES, ideal for your employees

Our experts are at your disposal to answer your questions. Benefit from a free consultation!
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