VAT E-Commerce Package – The One Stop Shop (OSS)

Alex Smith
December 22, 2020

The European Union’s VAT E-Commerce Package has been delayed until 1 July 2021. Consequently, in the New Year businesses will have to contend with both Brexit related VAT changes and the impact of the One Stop Shop – amounting to two new set of rules for VAT reporting in 2021.

Treatment of B2C goods and services after 1 July 2021

From 1 July 2021, the EU introduces new rules extending the Mini One Stop Shop (MOSS) to B2C supplies. The rules apply where VAT is due in a Member State other than that in which the supplier is established and intra-EU B2C supplies of goods. These rules are currently available for VAT accounting on B2C sales of Telecommunications, Broadcasting and Electronic Services (TBES). The new system, known as the One Stop Shop (OSS), had an original launch date of 1 January 2021.

How will OSS work?

OSS will abolish current distance selling thresholds. In addition, all intra-EU supplies of B2C TBES services plus intra-EU distance sales of goods will operate under the same €10,000 limit. When this limit is exceeded, VAT will be due in the Member State of delivery. This is regardless of the level of sales in that country. Important to note is that this threshold applies to EU established companies and will not apply to UK businesses.

A single VAT return accounts for Any VAT due can be accounted for via a single VAT return, submitted in the Member State of Identification – the country in which the business is registered for OSS. Any company established in the EU will use the country in which they operate as the Member State of Identification. If there is no business establishment in the EU, then a Member State can be chosen. Provisions also apply to non-EU businesses supplying services in the form of the non-union OSS scheme. OSS is not compulsory – businesses can choose to have a registration in all Member States where VAT is due.

Union scheme – goods dispatched from within the EU

The dispatch of goods from physical locations, such as warehouses in the EU, will continue to be treated as distance selling. If any thresholds are exceeded, VAT will be due in the Member State of delivery.

Consequently, OSS will be available to all sales of goods, regardless of their value. OSS accounts for VAT in the Member State of Identification at the rate in place in the country where VAT is due. That is the Member State of Consumption. Any VAT owed will be paid to the Member State of Identification, and OSS returns must be submitted.

Import OSS (IOSS) – goods dispatched from outside the EU

If the UK is not treated as a Member State at the time in which goods are dispatched from its territory, the sale will not fall under the Distance Selling regime. The goods will be treated in line with their intrinsic value, with differences above and below €150.

Goods imported from third countries or territories to customers in the EU up to an intrinsic value of €150 will be covered by an import scheme. Like the system being implemented in the UK from 1 January 2021. This import scheme accompanies the abolition of the current VAT exemption for goods in small consignments of a value of up to €22. However, if goods have a value above €150, VAT cannot be accounted for under IOSS and a full customs declaration will be needed.


Goods imported from third territories or third countries in consignments with an intrinsic value of less than €150 using an electronic interface such as a marketplace, platform, portal or similar means, will also be treated differently. This applies to sales via platforms such as Amazon. Under the changes, the platform will be deemed to have received and supplied goods in their own right. Interestingly, it’s irrelevant whether the goods are supplied by EU or non-EU suppliers. The marketplace rules also apply to non-EU sellers supplying goods via a marketplace where the goods are already located in the EU at the time of sale.

What next?

Until the application of the new rules, Member States must transpose the new rules of the VAT Directive. The Directive is already in place into their national legislation. Some Member States already are doing this. Though as yet unconfirmed, many believe OSS could be further delayed. Both the Netherlands and Germany have concerns about preparedness for the July 2021 start date.

For UK businesses, Brexit makes things particularly complex. After the implementation of OSS, UK businesses can make use of the e-commerce package changes. However, during the 6-month delay in 2021, registrations and fiscal representatives could be necessary for a short time. It’s essential businesses plan their supply chain with all the upcoming changes in mind.

Take Action

Get in touch to find out how we can help your business with the new rules.

Keen to know more the EU E-Commerce VAT package and One Stop Shop and impact on your business? Download our recent webinar A Practical Deep Dive into the New EU E-Commerce VAT Rules.

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Alex Smith

As a Director and member of the Consulting Services team within Managed Services, Alex has worked at Sovos since 2012. At Sovos Alex specialises in providing cross-border advice to a wide range of businesses delivering detailed analyses, reports and contract reviews regarding VAT/GST systems within the EU and beyond. Alex supports many businesses both from a consulting perspective and also by overseeing their VAT compliance obligations. Alex has worked in Indirect Tax since 2005 and his previous experience comes from working in the Big 4. Prior to joining Sovos, Alex worked as a GST consultant in New Zealand, which gave him the opportunity to develop an understanding of international GST and customs duties. Alex also spent several years in London, working in a middle markets VAT team gaining wide exposure to European VAT law. Alex is a full member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation and additionally holds a Master’s degree in Taxation.
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