Intrastat and the submission of the corresponding declarations causes headaches for many online traders. Nevertheless, most European traders are obliged to submit these reports. What Intrastat actually is, when and how an Intrastat declaration has to be submitted and which reporting thresholds there are, you will learn in this article.
Antonia KlattLast Updated on 13 September 2020
What is Intrastat?
Intrastat provides information on intra-community deliveries of goods between individual EU countries. This is intended to prevent tax fraud, but above all the Intrastat data is used for statistical purposes.
Intrastat is therefore a statistic about the actual movement of goods within the EU member states. Traders active in Europe must also submit Intrastat declarations regularly as proof of the movement of goods.
NOTE: This only applies for goods, not for services!
How to submit Intrastat declarations?
Intrastat declarations can only be submitted online. For this purpose it is advisable to contact the Federal Statistical Office of the respective country.
Depending on the EU country, there are of course different portals on which the report can be submitted. In Germany there are 2 common methods for this for example: IDEV and eSTATISTICS.
Since the Quick Fixes, VAT numbers of the recipients must be provided for intra-Community deliveries and transfers. Of course, this also affects Intrastat declarations, so the VAT number and its validity is of increasing importance. VAT numbers can be checked with the VIES.
Who must submit an Intrastat form?
Whoever has a VAT number and sells in Europe must usually also submit Intrastat declarations. In principle, this means every European trader who ships his goods across national borders and also exceeds a certain threshold value.
Dispatch case: Whoever carries out an intra-Community delivery is also subject to the obligation to provide information. There are certain reporting thresholds for shipments of goods, above which Intrastat reports must be submitted.
Incoming case: In this case, the person who makes an intra-community acquisition, i.e. the person who receives the goods, is obliged to provide information. Also the reaching of the annual reporting threshold for goods receipts in a country leads to the fact that Intrastat declarations must be submitted.
Most online traders, especially those who use Amazon FBA to store their goods in different warehouses, also have to take care of Intrastat declarations. Since the reaching of a certain threshold is decisive, you will find all threshold values in the following paragraph.
NOTE: There are different notifications and different reporting thresholds for goods shipments and for goods receipts!
Reporting thresholds for Intrastat
As already mentioned, there are certain reporting thresholds above which the submission of Intrastat reports becomes necessary within a calendar year. These thresholds are not uniformly regulated and so each EU member state has its own guidelines.
In addition, separate declarations must be submitted for both incoming and outgoing goods and, accordingly, each EU country has separate reporting thresholds for both incoming and outgoing goods.
In Germany, the reporting threshold for shipments of goods is 500,000€ and for incoming goods 800,000€. Therefore, a company based in Germany must submit an Intrastat declaration for shipments of goods as soon as intra-community deliveries to other EU countries exceed the value of 500,000€.
All Intrastat Threshold Limits in the EU
For a better overview, we have compiled all reporting thresholds here, but for which the submission of statistical reports is mandatory.
|EU Country||Currency||Notification thresholds|
for shipments of goods
for goods receipts
When and how often must an Intrastat declaration be made?
The reporting period for Intrastat declarations is the calendar month in which the exchange of goods took place. The Intrastat declaration usually has to be submitted on the 10th (working) day of the following month, as it is the case in Germany. This deadline can vary from country to country and should be checked individually.
Exemption from the obligation to provide information
Private persons have to worry little about the obligation to provide information and generally about Intrastat declarations. They are exempt from this.
However, if a company sends goods to a private person in another EU country, or vice versa, i.e. from private persons to companies, then this must be reported. The obligation to report lies with the company.
Consequently, mail order companies that only deliver to private persons are also obliged to provide information, unless the private person collects the goods himself. Sounds complicated? Don’t worry, at the end of the article you should be a professional.
What information must be provided?
The online forms of the respective EU countries clearly show which information is to be entered by the seller.This information ranges from VAT number, description of the business, relevant evidence to the Intrastat commodity code.
What is the Intrastat commodity code?
The Intrastat commodity codes are elementary to order the exchange of goods between EU countries. Goods are classified according to their nature and all goods are given a unique number.
The commodity code is often called Intrastat customs tariff number.
Structure and function of the Intrastat commodity code
The Intrastat commodity code consists of 8 digits and is used to identify the goods, determine the customs rates, etc.
There is also an 11-digit code number, but this is used exclusively for national purposes, such as the import of goods.
- Goods number consisting of 8 digits: for export (case of shipment)
- Goods number out of 11 digits: for import (case of receipt)
Intrastat vs. Summary Report
Intrastat declarations, even if they concern goods movements, should not be confused with the summary report!
The summary report includes not only intra-Community supplies but also services. In addition, we always refer to Intrastat declarations as so-called Community goods.
When and how are incorrect reports to be corrected?
If Intrastat declarations are subsequently found to be incorrect but have already been submitted, they must be corrected immediately. Ideally on the channel through which the declaration was submitted, i.e. in Germany eSTATISTIK or IDEV.
NOTE: Notifications must only be corrected if they concern the current or the previous calendar year.
Problems with Intrastat
For many online traders the Intrastat declaration is rather difficult. One of the reasons for this is that there are different national requirements in all EU countries.
Both the reporting obligation and the reporting thresholds are not uniformly regulated and the type of goods and relevant information may vary.
The correct processing of Intrastat declarations is important! This is not only because Intrastat makes intra-European movements of goods traceable and transparent and provides information about related tax obligations, but also because the collection of these movements for statistical purposes is also of utmost importance.
The latter may sound trivial at first glance, but it is a key indicator for the development of the European economy and therefore of utmost importance to a wide range of decision-makers.
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