E-commerce Distance Selling: The VAD rules on VAT

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ASD GroupServicesWhat are the e-commerce rules?

What are the e-commerce rules?

Definition of the distance selling

Distance selling refers to intra-community sales destined at non-taxable persons (individuals, associations, etc.). An e-commerce company that carries out intra-community sales must respect the VAT thresholds defined by the European directive. In the event of exceeding the threshold, the e-merchant has to invoice the VAT of the destination country. Specific VAT rules have to be applied in case of these operations.

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Distance selling in europe: the vat regime

The regime of distance selling is applicable if three conditions are met:

  • the goods must be shipped by the seller or on his behalf to the buyer
  • the sales must be carried out from one EU member country to another
  • the purchaser is a non-taxbale natural person or a person benefiting from a derogatory regime

The e-commerce companies can sell to non-taxable persons in the European Union member countries by applying their national VAT rate, until the threshold defined by the destination country is reached. The threshold corresponds to the amount of distance sales turnover made over the year in the destination country.

Example: the company A is based in France and sells costume jewelry on its website to the customers in Belgium. If its annual turnover without tax in Belgium is inferior to 35 000 €, the company charges with the French VAT rate. If, however, this threshold is exceeded, the company charges with the Belgian VAT rate.

It is important to note that certain products do not have the same tax benefits in all countries. It is crucial to check the VAT rates of the destination country and to identify whether the product concerned should apply a reduced or normal rate.

The regime does not apply to the deliveris:

  • of new means of transport
  • of used goods
  • of products subject to excise duties (alcoholic products, mineral oils, tobacco...)


Searches related to Intracommunity VAT Distance Selling / E-commerce

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  • The distance selling concerns intra-community sales destined at non-taxable persons (BtoC).
  • VAT thresholds specific to the distance selling must be respected. The threshold varies depending on the destination country.
  • If the threshold is exceeded, the company must obtain a tax identity in the country, get the local VAT number and charge the VAT of that country.
  • The VAT declarative rhythm varies depending on the country. It can be monthly, trimestrial, annual, etc.

How ASD GROUP can help you

Whether you sell via your website or via a marketplace (Amazon, Fnac, Ebay), we can accompany you. A dedicated service to e-merchants has been created to solve all problems encuntered by companies doing distance selling.

Single point of contact

Centralise your VAT refund demands in a single service

Obtaining a vat number

VAT registration of your company in another EU member state

Verification of transactions

Verification of the required information included on the purchase invoices

Filing of vat declarations

Preparation and filing of VAT declarations


Assistance during an administrative or customs inspection


Organisation of specific training dedicated to the distance selling, ideal for your collaborators
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