Italian Import Documents Become Electronic

Luca Clivati
August 9, 2022

The Italian Customs Authorities recently updated their national import system by applying the new European Union Customs Data Model (EUCDM). These new changes came into effect on 9 June 2022.

According to the new procedure, the old model of paper import declarations has been abolished. The import declarations are now transmitted to the Italian Customs Authorities’ information system with a digital signature.

What does this mean in practice?

The acceptance of a customs declaration is notified to the economic operator (that can be the importer, the Customs Agent, etc.) through a Master Reference Number (MRN), an alphanumeric string of 18 characters.

The old IM message (telematic track to be submitted at the time of the import to the Italian Customs Authorities through the Customs Telematic Service (i.e. Servizio telematico doganale (STD)) has been replaced by the following paths as defined by EU legislation:

  • H1 Declaration of release for free circulation and end use
  • H2 Customs warehouse declaration
  • H3 Declaration of temporary admission
  • H4 Inward processing declaration
  • H5 Declaration of the introduction of goods in the framework of trade with special fiscal territories

How can I know how much import VAT is due on goods imported from outside the EU into Italy?

At the time of the release of the goods, Italian Customs Authorities make available the “summary statement for accounting purposes of the customs declaration” (prospetto di riepilogo ai fini contabili della dichiarazione doganale). The summary includes all data necessary to detect customs duties, import VAT and any other charges due.

The summary mentioned above is made available to the importer and the declarant/representative in the reserved area of the single portal of Italian Customs Authorities through the “Document management – customs declarations” service.

We recommend that importers contact their Customs Agent to receive a copy of this summary for their accounting purposes.

How and when can I recover my Italian import VAT?

As per Italian VAT Law, possessing a Single Administrative Document (SAD) is needed to exercise the right to recover import VAT in Italy. As the SAD is now unavailable, Italian Customs Authorities, in agreement with the Italian Revenue Agency, agreed that the new accounting summary is sufficient to allow the importer to exercise the right to recover the import VAT.

Therefore, the new accounting summary is needed to exercise your right to recover the import VAT paid to the Italian tax authorities.

Moreover, the right to recover import VAT is exercised only once the summary is reported in the Purchase VAT Ledger as per art. 25 of Italian VAT Law.

Finally, the import document must be included in your quarterly VAT return and your annual VAT return which must mirror your Italian VAT Ledgers.

To ensure your import VAT is not lost, we recommend considering that the last day to recover the import VAT, related to an import of goods carried out in 2022, is 30 April 2023.

Further documents introduced from June 2022

In addition to the Summary Prospetto di riepilogo ai fini contabili della dichiarazione doganale, discussed above, economic operators will be able to receive:

  • Summary statement of the declaration – Prospetto sintetico della dichiarazione, issued after acceptance of the customs declaration in AIDA 2.0 and summary of the declaration’s key data;
  • Release prospectus – Prospetto di svincolo, provided by Italian Customs Authorities as part of the process of exiting goods from customs areas and necessary to allow the control activities of the Italian Tax Police / facilitate obtaining the “exit visa”.

Italian Customs Authorities advise customs operators to provide the Prospetto di svincolo to transporters as proof of the fulfilment of customs formalities in the case of checks.

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Author

Luca Clivati

Luca joined Sovos in 2022 and is a senior manager of the consulting team within Compliance Services. He holds a Master’s degree in International Economics and has 13+ years of experience on cross-border transactions and international VAT and GST. Luca specializes in tax consulting advisory focusing on indirect taxes, diagnosis, solution, development and implementation of clients’ tax requirements, VAT compliance and tax due diligences within the EU and in jurisdictions outside of it (mostly Norway, Switzerland, New Zealand, Australia and Singapore).
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