Although companies can make commercial operations within the European Union freely and without a control on the borders, depending on your activity and the amount of trade you might have an obligation to fill out a trade of goods declaration.
DEB or trade of goods declaration (déclaration d’échanges de biens in French), known in other European Union countries as Intrastat, is a monthly declarative obligation in France which summarizes your intra-community transactions with other companies.
ARRIVALS VS DISPATCHES
If your company sells or acquiers goods to / from another company located in another European Union member state, it is likely that you have to file a DEB. First of all, you have to distinguish the flow of your trade. Two possibilities exist:
Arrival is a term used to describe the arrival of communal goods in France, while dispatch means the shipment of goods from France to a company located in another European Union member country. In the case of dispatch, you have to file a DEB since the first realized delivery, whatever its amount. In the case of arrival, you have to file a declaration only if the amount of your transactions reaches a certain threshold.
ATTENTION TO THE THRESHOLD
If the amount of your arrivals exceeds the threshold of 460 000 €, you are obliged to file a DEB, otherwise, you don’t have to fill it out. However, if you reach this threshold during the current year, a trade of goods declaration becomes compulsory starting from the month in which the threshold was exceeded.
It is interesting to keep in mind the threshold also in regard to the dispatching goods. If the amount of your dispatches is below the threshold of 460 000 €, you can fill out a simplified trade of goods declaration, whereas above this threshold you have to file a detailed DEB.
UNDERSTANDING THE FLOWS
To be able to file a DEB, you must well understand your flows. It is not enough to know the type of the flow (arrival or dispatch), you also have to know the nature of transaction (for instance, invoicing in the context of triangular transaction, intra-community acquisition, introduction for a contracted work, etc.) and other elements. If these formalities seem complexes to you, you can gain time by outsourcing your trade of goods declarations.