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In brief

The EU Member States agreed to postpone the entry into force date of the ‘VAT e-commerce package’.

The VAT e-commerce package introduces new VAT rules that -in essence- aim to make online sales of goods to EU consumers become effectively subject to VAT in the EU. Under the current EU VAT rules, online sales of goods that are imported into the EU, in practice often remain free of VAT.


The new legislation includes the abolishment of the import VAT exemption for low value consignments, the introduction of a single point of registration to report and remit VAT Also, online platforms and online marketplaces are introduced as persons that become liable for remitting VAT on goods sold on such platforms by third-party vendors, instead of the vendors themselves.

The initial entry into force date was 1 January 2021 and is now postponed to 1 July 2021. On 20 July, the Council of the European Union has formally approved the European Commission’s proposal to postpone the effective date of the 2021 e-commerce VAT package due to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The postponement will provide tax authorities and taxpayers with much needed preparation time to ensure correct application of the new legislation.


Martin Morawski is a Legal Director in Baker McKenzie's Amsterdam office.


Ralph Potgieter is an Associate in Baker McKenzie's Amsterdam office.