Nyhed

Alcohol regularisations Belgium for Ecommerce

Alcohol regularisations Belgium for Ecommerce

There are two possible situations for E-commerce in Belgium. First one is E-commerce from Belgium, whereby the products are shipped from Belgium to either Belgium or abroad. Another situation occurs when a webshop has a physical location abroad and ships its products to Belgium.

E-commerce from Belgium

Company has a stock for which the duties have been paid in Belgium.

Company delivers the products on Belgian territory

Company sells the products inclusive the excise duties any packaging levy. In addition to excise duties, a packaging levy in Belgium of € 9.86/hl is also payable for beverage packaging € 1.41/hl for reusable packaging. This packaging levy is collected together with the payment of excise duties. The licence for ethylalcohol and alcohol-containing beverages (Dutch: “vergunning ethylalcohol en alcoholhoudende dranken”) is mandatory for both online and offline alcohol sales. The license can be obtained at the Team Licenses of the General Administration of Customs and Excise Duties.

Company delivers the products outside Belgium to other European country

The delivery is done by the Belgian seller or on behalf of the Belgian seller = distance selling

This is the most common situation in case of online sales. In the excise duties regulations it is called distance selling (Dutch: “verkoop op afstand”). Even though excise duties already paid in Belgium, excise debt occurs again in the country of destination. Excise duties are due in the country where the goods are consumed, and the excise tariffs are different in every European country.

In this case the Belgian webshop is responsible for all the formalities linked to excise duties in another country, and for the transportation costs, so the buyer does not intervene. The customer abroad makes an online purchase, receives their products and all the excise duties are met. The excises due are paid by the seller.

The Belgian webshop or someone appointed as a tax representative in the country of destination must meet the following formalities:

  • For each transfer of the goods from Belgium to the other EU Member State, a deposit for the excise duties applicable to the shipment must be lodged in the country of destination. If the Belgian company works through a tax representative, tax representative usually places a deposit for multiple shipments.
  • The shipment takes place based on a commercial document prepared by a Belgian seller, together with the proof of deposit per shipment or a reference to the deposit made by the tax representative.
  • After delivery of the goods to the private customer, excise duties must be paid in the country of destination.
  • Accounts of the delivered goods must be kept  and the place of delivery must be mentioned.
  • Based on the proof of payment of the excise duties in the country of destination, Belgian seller can submit a refund request in Belgium. If the seller did not pay the excise duties in Belgium themselves, it is necessary to have a mandate from the initial payer. If the seller does not receive this mandate from the initial payer, they must submit a refund request themselves and they need an agreement with the initial payer.
  • If the seller has many regular shipments to a particular EU Member State, a possible simplification of procedures can be discussed.

The Belgian webshop must have a permit for both online and offline alcohol sales, namely the license for ethylalcohol and alcohol-containing beverages (Dutch: “vergunning ethylalcohol en alcoholhoudende dranken”), mentioned earlier.

The delivery is organized by a third party, not by the seller and not by the foreign customer

The following formalities are applicable in this case:

• The transfer takes place based on a Simplified Accompanying Document (Dutch: VGD; Vereenvoudigd geleidedocument), prepared by the Belgian seller.

• The transfer of the goods from Belgium to the country of destination can start when the seller has provided the information about

the deposit lodged in the country of destination. This is mentioned in box 6 of the VGD.

• After the delivery of goods, the buyer, who has the goods in hand or who makes the delivery, must pay excise duties in the country of destination.

• The Belgian seller can submit a refund application in Belgium on the basis of the VGD stamped by the country of destination. If the seller did not pay the excise duties in Belgium themselves, they will need a mandate from the initial payer. If the seller does not receive this mandate from the initial payer, they must submit a refund request themselves with the agreement of the initial payer.

The country of destination may grant simplifications of procedures, insofar as these are notified to the European Commission and the other EU Member States.

The Belgian webshop must have a permit for both online and offline alcohol sales, namely the license for ethylalcohol and alcohol-containing beverages (Dutch: “vergunning ethylalcohol en alcoholhoudende dranken”), mentioned earlier.

Belgian seller delivers the products outside of the EU

Since the Belgian seller has a stock for which excise duties have already been paid, there are 2 options: the seller wishes to refund the excise duties that have already been paid in Belgium or the seller does not wish to receive a refund of excise duties.

In case the seller wishes to recover excise duties, the following formalities apply:

  • The seller submits a reimbursement file in their region within 12 months after the payment of the Belgian excise duties.
  • The seller must place the goods under a excise duty suspension arrangement for export via a person who has a licensed warehousekeeper (Dutch: vergunning erkend entrepothouder) for the alcoholic beverages.
  • The recognized warehouse keeper prepares an e-AD (electronic administrative document in the computerized system EMCS
  • (Excise Movement Control System). Then an export declaration is prepared by the seller, the authorized warehouse keeper or a customs broker.
  • Based on the “export notice” in EMCS, Belgian seller can receive a refund of the excise duties paid in Belgium.
  • Belgian seller needs the export declaration on which the office of exit has confirmed the departure of the goods from the EU.

In case that the Belgian seller does not wish to receive a refund of excise duties, they, the authorized warehouse keeper or a customs agent need to prepare the export declaration.

The Belgian webshop must have a permit for both online and offline alcohol sales, namely the license for ethylalcohol and alcohol-containing beverages (Dutch: “vergunning ethylalcohol en alcoholhoudende dranken”), mentioned earlier.

E-commerce from other European country to Belgium

The delivery is done by the seller or on behalf of the seller = distance selling

This situation is most common in online sales.

Even if excise duties have already been paid in the other European country, an excise debt still occurs in Belgium. Excise duties are due in the country where the goods are consumed and the excise rates are different in all EU Member States.

In this case, the seller in the EU Member State other than Belgium, is also responsible for all excise formalities in Belgium and for the transport costs. The Belgian buyer does not intervene. The Belgian consumer buys online, receives his package and the excise formalities have been fulfilled in Belgium by the seller established in the other EU Member State.

The seller can be assisted by a tax representative in Belgium. The seller or their tax representative in Belgium must comply with the following formalities:

  • For each transfer of the goods from the other EU Member State to Belgium, a deposit needs to be lodged in Belgium for the excise duties applicable to the shipment. If the seller works through a tax representative in Belgium, tax representative usually places the deposit for multiple shipments.
  • The transfer takes place based on a commercial document prepared by the seller, together with the security deposit for a shipment or a reference to the deposit made by the Belgian tax representative.
  • After delivery of the goods to the consumer, excise duties must be paid in Belgium. No later than the Thursday of the week following the delivery in Belgium, an electronic declaration AC4 must be submitted in the automated system PLDA (by the seller or by their tax representative in Belgium).
  • The payment of the excise duties is made into an FRCT account that is requested through the sub-office of the General Administration of Customs and Excise.
  • Accounts must be kept of the delivered goods and the place of delivery must be mentioned.
  • Based on the proof of payment of excise duties in Belgium, seller can submit a refund request in their country for the excise duties paid on the goods in their country but delivered in Belgium.
  • If the seller has many and regular shipments from their country to Belgium, possible simplifying of the procedures in the EU Member State of destination and/or the EU Member State of departure can be discussed.

In addition to excise duties, a packaging levy in Belgium of € 9.86/hl is also payable for beverage packaging € 1.41/hl for reusable packaging. This packaging levy is collected together with the payment of excise duties.

Delivery does not happen on behalf of the seller

Even if excise duties have already been paid in seller’s Member State, an excise debt still occurs in Belgium. Excise duties are due in the country where the goods are consumed and the excise rates are different in all EU Member States.

In this case, seller cannot appoint a Belgian tax representative and therefore the excise formalities need to be fulfilled by:

  • the buyer;
  • the person who has the stock of goods available
  • the person responsible for the delivery in Belgium

The following formalities apply:

  • The transfer takes place based on a Simplified Accompanying Document (VGD) prepared by the seller.
  • The shipment of the goods from EU Member State to Belgium can start when the seller has provided the details about the deposit in Belgium. This is mentioned in box 6 of the VGD.
  • After delivery of the goods the buyer, the party who has the stock of goods available or the party responsible for delivery, pays excise duties in Belgium. No later than the Thursday of the week following the delivery in Belgium, an electronic declaration AC4 must be submitted in the automated system PLDA (by the seller or by their tax representative in Belgium).
  • The payment of the excise duties is made into an FRCT account that is requested through the sub-office of the General Administration of Customs and Excise.
  • The seller can submit a refund application in their Member State on the basis of the VGD stamped by the Belgian authorities.

In addition to excise duties, a packaging levy in Belgium of € 9.86/hl is also payable for beverage packaging € 1.41/hl for reusable packaging. This packaging levy is collected together with the payment of excise duties.

Alchohol regularisations for ecommerce in the Netherlands

In December 2020, the House of Representatives and the Senate approved the bill to amend the Beverage and Catering Act. The following changes were expected to come into effect on July 1, 2021.

Age verification system at time of purchase for distance selling

An important part of the amendment law is the mandatory age verification that needs to be done by the seller when receiving an order. This needs to be done through an age verification system that must consist of an age verification question that must be asked and answered with every purchase before the purchase process is completed. To answer this age question, the buyer needs to take an action, for example, to indicate his age or to type in his date of birth. This makes the buyer aware that he must be of age to purchase this product. In addition, with every remote purchase you must report that the age of the recipient is also checked when the drink is delivered. In long time perspective, this age verification system will be replaced by a system which allows the seller to verify the buyer’s age in more reliable and unambiguous manner.

Guaranteed working method

Because of the risks of alcoholic beverages for young people, all the parties must be aware that an age-related product is being traded, therefore the age of the buyer must be checked on delivery. That is why every seller of alcoholic beverages must have a guaranteed working method (Dutch: “geborgde werkwijze”) for age verification. This guarantees that the alcoholic beverage can only be delivered to the address specified by the buyer or to a distribution point, and that the age of the buyer is determined on the basis of a valid identification document. The seller is responsible for determining the buyer’s age, even if a third party delivers the drink. It the seller’s duty to make agreements with the third parties and to record these in his secured working method.

The seller is free to set up his own secured working method. The procedure must contain:

  • how the age limit for every transfer of the alcoholic beverage between different parties from shipment to delivery is controlled;
  • how the seller ensures that the alcoholic beverage is only delivered to adults, and to the address specified by the buyer or to a distribution point;
  • how the seller ensures that the current guaranteed working method is known and transparent for those who work under the his responsibility;
  • and how the seller conducts an investigation at least once a year into the implementation of the guaranteed working method.

In addition, the amendment law states that the seller may not engage in other business activities that do not belong to distance selling of spirits. Online liquor stores will no longer be allowed to offer products other than those that may be offered in physical liquor stores.

Ban on price promotions

One of the most important measures is a ban on certain price promotions for alcoholic beverages for use elsewhere than locally. Both physical and online stores will no longer be allowed to offer alcoholic beverages that seem to have more than 25% discount off the price usually charged.

(Source: https://www.thuiswinkel.org/webshops/nieuws/wijzigingen-voor-online-alcoholverkoop-vanaf-1-juli/)

Liquor store license

If alcohol is sold directly to consumers, the rules of the Alcohol Act apply. Dutch alcohol sellers are not allowed to sell spirits to consumers without a liquor store license (Dutch: “slijterijvergunning”), not even through a webshop. In order to obtain this  license the seller needs to be at least 18 years old and have a SVH Statement Social Hygiene. Liquor store license can be request at the municipality where the seller has its physical location.

Distance selling

The process of delivering from a web shop to private individuals is called ‘distance selling’ (Dutch: “afstandsverkopen”). As mentioned earlier, a liquor store license is required to sell alcohol online. As with imports, the seller will also have to deal with VAT and excise duties. If the customer lives in the Netherlands, the Dutch VAT and the Dutch excise duty apply.

If the customer lives in another EU member state, the VAT for that specific country is calculated. There is no threshold amount that the seller’s turnover must exceed. Dutch seller needs to apply for a VAT number in the other EU member state and pay the VAT and excise duties there. According to the VAT rules for e-commerce in the EU, the foreign VAT can also be paid via the One Stop Shop (OSS). The Dutch seller can also use a tax representative abroad who would pay VAT and excise duties locally on the seller’s behalf. The excise duty paid can be reclaimed back in the Netherlands. The seller must also provide a document of origin, such as a waybill or invoice.

If the customer lives outside the EU, the Dutch seller needs to file an export declaration at customs. Then 0% VAT on the invoice is calculated. The paid excise duty can be reclaimed back. Also an import declaration must be filed in the country where the customer lives. If the seller would arrange everything (Incoterms® DDP), he must take care of that declaration. The seller then pays import duties, VAT and excise duties from that country. The seller can also use a tax representative.

(Source: https://www.kvk.nl/advies-en-informatie/internationaal-ondernemen/importeren/sterke-drank-importeren-en-verkopen/)

France

Specific regulations apply to the sale of excisable products purchased at a distance, by an individual for his personal consumption. These sales are subjects to excises duties.

There are several situations related to the online sales:

  • the seller is established in another EU Member State and sells to a French individual;
  • the seller is located in France and sells to an individual established in another EU Member State;
  • a French seller who sells to a French individual.

The obligations of the seller in another EU Member State who sells to French customers

The seller needs to appoint a tax representative. It must be a company established in France. The tax representative is responsible for the declaration formalities and pays the excise duties on the behalf of the seller.

The tax representative complies with the following obligations:

  1. be approved by Directorate-General of Customs and Indirect Taxes. The approval file is given to the interregional director of the region where the head office of the tax representative is located. It consists of the following parts:
    1. a request for approval for a “fiscal representative in excise matters”;
    1. a permission for establishment or operation or extract from the trade register (K ​​bis);
    1. the act designating the head of the company and a specimen of his signature;
    1. powers of attorney given by the managers with the authority to sign binding deeds for the company;
    1. the accounting model for product delivery that will be used;
    1. documents related to the establishment of a financial guarantee.
  2. establish a mandate for each seller. The original of the mandate is sent to your local customs office prior to any action concerning the seller.
  3. declare and pay the excise duty no later than the tenth day of the month following the receipt of the products.
  4. account for deliveries.

The seller also needs to establish a commercial document for each shipment. This document must include the following information:

  • The name, denomination or company name and address of the sender;
  • The name and address of the recipient of the excise goods;
  • The address of the place of delivery of the products, if different from the recipient’s address;
  • The nature and quantities of the products transported;
  • The indication “distance sales of excise products”;
  • The identification number, name, name or company name and address of French tax representative;
  • The referent customs office of French tax representative;
  • The security number of French tax representative.

This document must follow each of the shipments. It must therefore be appended the outside of the package or placed inside the package. If this obligation is not respected, the goods are risking being confiscated by customs and excise duties would be claimed from the recipient.

Finally, the distance selling of excise duty products in France, is a subject to French VAT.

The obligations of a French seller who sells to a customer established in another EU Member State

To sell to an individual living in another EU Member State of the European Union, the seller must first of all refer to the regulations applicable in that particular state.

To comply with French law, the seller has only one obligation: prepare a commercial document (order form, delivery note, invoice or other) for every shipment. This document needs to be placed inside or outside the package and must include the following information:

  • The name, denomination or company name and address of the sender;
  • The name and address of the recipient;
  • The address of the place of delivery of the products, if different from the recipient’s address;
  • The nature and quantities of the products transported;
  • The indication “distance sales of excise products”;
  • The identification number, name, denomination or company name and address of the tax representative;
  • The competent office in the EU Member State of destination where excise duties have been guaranteed prior to dispatch;

The reference number or any other element clearly identifying the guarantee provided by the shipper or his tax representative in the Member State of destination.

The seller can request a refund of French excise duties. This request must contain:

  • a copy of the commercial document required for products circulation in France;
  • proof of payment of duties in the country of destination.

The obligations of a French seller who sells to French customers

The seller must establish a commercial document (invoice, delivery slip, order form, etc.) for every shipment. This document can be placed  outside or inside of the package and must include the following information:

  • The name, denomination or company name and address of the sender;
  • The name and address of the recipient;
  • The address of the place of delivery of the products, if it differs from the recipient’s address;
  • The nature and quantities of the products transported;
  • The indication “distance sales of excise goods”

(Source: https://www.douane.gouv.fr/demarche/declarer-vos-ventes-en-ligne-dalcool-ou-boissons-alcooliques-vente-distance-vad)

The sale of alcohol on the Internet is a subject to strict legal obligations related to the protection of young people and public health.

E-commerce sites are prohibited from selling alcoholic beverages to minors. Online sellers must clearly indicate this prohibition on their site, by displaying a mention at the bottom of the webpage. A reminder at submitting of every order form is also recommended.

The operator of the site is entitled to require from buyers to indicate their date of birth in order to determine that they are over 18 years old. It should be mentioned that unlike certain countries, such as the United States where putting a question about age for anyone entering a site is a legal obligation, there is no such obligation in France.

E-commerce sites selling alcohol must display clearly on their home page the words “Alcohol abuse is dangerous for your health ” and “Alcohol needs to be consumed in moderation”.

The operating license for the sale of alcohol

E-commerce sites selling alcohol must comply with the legal obligation to undergo specific training with organizations that have obtained approval from the Ministry of the Interior. The training concerns the regulation of alcoholic beverage sales.

The training lasts several hours. The aim is to raise awareness among alcohol sellers of the rights and obligations associated with doing business on the Internet. Sellers acquire knowledge about legislations necessary for online sales to preserve order and public health. At the end of the training, the seller obtains an operating license that is valid for 10 years. After this period, if he wishes to prolong his license, he must participate in other training sessions.

The license to sell alcoholic beverages “to take away”

The e-commerce site selling alcohol must make a declaration prior to obtaining this license. There are two kinds of “take out” licenses. They vary based on the category of drinks sold, these being classified into 5 categories:

  • Alcohol-free
  • Fermented undistilled like beer, cider, wine, etc.
  • Liqueur wines, aperitifs, natural sweet wines
  • Rums, alcohols from the distillation of fruit, wine or cider
  • All other alcoholic drinks not included in these first 4 categories.

The two types of licenses:

  • The “small take-out license” authorizes the sale of second category drinks
  • The “take-out license” allowing the sale of all categories of drinks

Under new legislation applicable since June 1, 2011, modifying the conditions for obtaining the take-out license, e-commerce shops selling alcohol are no longer required to prepare a tax declaration with the customs. Instead of this, they must make an administrative declaration to the town hall of their locality or to the Paris Police Prefecture for the sellers who have their headquarters in Paris. This must be done at least 15 days before launching the e-commerce site.

(Source: https://editioneo.com/blog/e-commerce-les-obligations-legales-des-sites-de-vente-dalcool/)

General conditions of e-commerce sale

The notion of General conditions of e-commerce sale (French: “Conditions générales de vente) is mandatory to be place on the online store page, along with the confidentiality policy and legal notices. B2C sellers need to display these notices, since they need to protect individual customers.

Note: these conditions are not specific for e-commerce shops that sell alcohol, but are applicable for every webshop.

The general conditions of sale must contain several elements:

The distance selling contract: the general stipulations

It is good to remember that the general conditions of sale represent a distance selling contract, therefore they regulate the order placed by the consumer in an online store. The seller must mention the contact details of the company or the natural person who owns the online store:

  • The mailing address;
  • Telephone number ;
  • Email-address.

Products

All products are accompanied by description in the form of texts and images, however the seller can mention that when certain errors affect the characteristics of the product, it is beyond the seller’s responsibility. This mention allows the seller to legally protect himself in case of consumer dissatisfaction. The state in which the products are sold needs to be specified, the conditions that apply when the ordered product is no longer available in stock needs to be discussed. The conditions for reimbursement or replacement of unavailable products are included in this part. Finally, the return conditions also need to be discussed in this product description.

Ordering methods

Price and payment

In the general sale conditions, the seller must indicate the currency displayed on the website, and also the taxation. The seller needs to specify when the consumer will be able to view the final price of his order.

The payment methods need to be explained in details. If the seller practices cash payment, deferred payment, payment in several installments,…, this need to be mentioned. The payment and order validation methods are also detailed in this part.

Delivery, receipt and use of the product

First, determine the delivery area: whether the seller only delivers to France, or whether he exports.

Depending on the delivery methods used, the seller needs to specify how the delivery will occur and how the package needs to be collected. The seller needs to detail the conditions applied to assure that the package is received within the legal and indicative deadlines, and give the solutions for the case of delay. A tracking link needs to be provided, so that the customer can keep track on his shipment. In case of E-Commerce, certain accidents can happen, and the package and its contents can be damaged during transport, therefore the seller needs to display the conditions applicable in this case.

Legal guarantees

The legal guarantees include several elements of the general stipulations and other mandatory information:

  • The seller’s business information;
  • The rules governing online sales and consumer protection.

These rules allow the customer to make a request under the legal guarantee of conformity or defects in the product sold. If he has a complaint to make, he must refer to the rules that displayed in seller’s general sales conditions:

  • The consumer has a period of 2 years from receipt of the product to act;
  • The consumer can choose between replacing or repairing the good he has purchased;
  • The consumer does not need to provide a proof of the existence of the defect described in his complaint, and of the fact that this defect occurred during the first 24 months of use after receipt of the product.

Seller can include additional market specific details in these legal guarantees of the general conditions of sale.

Returns

This part describes all the conditions that the seller puts in place for the returns of his products, in case of conflict or of poor quality, in addition to the right of withdrawal applied in France. The seller can add a part on the specific commercial guarantees of his products.

Force majeure

These notices allows the seller to delimit cases of force majeure and his liability.

Customer’s obligations

The customer must be old enough to transmit information and purchase on the Internet. This age is set at 15 years, but can be increased to 18 years for certain types of products.

The right of withdrawal

This part consists of recalling the elementary rules of withdrawal in the commercial context. For example, when sending multiple parts or lots, the 14 day withdrawal period begins when the last of the parts is received.

Personal data

Seller must justify the data he collects on his website’s visitors, an detail the use of data.

Applicable law

If the seller offers his products in France, his site will be presented in French, for French consumers. The applicable law is therefore French regulations.

Settlement of disputes

As disputes may arise, the seller can indicate the mediators to whom clients can turn. In case that the consumer does not want to go to a mediator, or this has not led to the desired result, the customer can go to court. Therefore the seller can indicate a competent court.

Germany

There are no special distance selling regulations for the sale of alcoholic beverages over the Internet. The Youth Protection Act does not contain any special rules on the sale of alcohol over the. It is therefore necessary to fall back on the general regulations of the youth protection law, in particular on the Youth Protection Act (German: “Jugendschutzgesetz – JuSchG”).

(Source: https://website-check.de/blog/fernabsatzrecht/alkoholverkauf-im-internet-der-verkauf-von-alkohol-im-online-shop/)

The regulations of the PAngV require that the retailer must indicate both final and basic prices in his offer. In addition, a reference to the shipping and delivery costs incurred is required. The seller needs to mention the information about the alcohol content of the beverages and the best-before date.

The Price Indication Ordinance (German: PAngV)

The seller needs to indicate the prices including taxes and other price components (final prices), communicate that the requested prices already include sales tax and other price components and indicate whether and to what extent additional delivery and shipping costs are incurred. The price per unit of quantity (basic price) must also be mentioned.

Requirements of the food labeling regulation (German: LMKV)

Online seller needs to indicate the alcohol content  in percent by volume. The best before date needs to be indicated, however, it is not required for:

  • Beverages with an alcohol content of ten or more percent by volume and
  • for alcoholic beverages in containers of more than five liters which are intended for delivery to consumers

(Source: https://www.it-recht-kanzlei.de/Wie_verkauft_man_rechtssicher_Alkohol_im_Internet.html)

Paragraph 9 of the JuSchG prohibits the supply of alcohol children and young people. However, it should be noted that online sales of alcoholic beverages to children and young people in Germany is not explicitly regulated in the JuSchG. Since shipping and thus online trading are not explicitly mentioned, there is a certain amount of leeway here. The Regional Court of Bochum (LG Bochum judgment of January 23, 2019 Az. 13 O 1/19) dealt extensively in 2019 with the subject of youth protection when selling alcoholic beverages on the Internet. During this process it was stated that it is prohibited to advertise/or to offer for sale and /or to sell alcoholic beverages, unless prior to dispatch it is reliably ensured, that the consumer has reached the age of sixteen (for beer, wine, and wine-like beverages) and is of legal age for other alcoholic beverages; and that the alcoholic beverages are dispatched in a way that ensures that these beverages are personally sent to the adult customer to whom they were addressed. According to this, online alcohol sellers must implement suitable and effective age verification procedures to ensure that alcoholic beverages are only distributed to people of the required minimum age.

(Source: https://www.bundestag.de/resource/blob/797970/14f6c6b9ebb3913d7b65645e0307e398/WD-5-091-20-pdf-data.pdf)

New VAT e-commerce rules for EU

With removal of the exemption from VAT for “low-value” goods, all commercial goods imported into the EU will be subject to VAT (to be imposed at the applicable VAT rates in the country where the goods arrive).

To minimize the administrative burden, you, as the supplier, can opt to declare and pay the VAT due in the various EU countries through the “OSS”. You may do so in your country of residence or, if you are not based and nor have a fixed establishment in the EU, in any EU country from which the goods are dispatched. This simplified scheme is also referred to as the “Union Scheme”.

If you use the Union Scheme, you do not have to issue any VAT invoices. Entrepreneurs that do not use the Union Scheme will still be required to issue invoices to their customers. They must, in all EU countries to which goods are sent or transported, file VAT returns and pay VAT. A supplier that uses the Union Scheme must, for each calendar quarter, file an electronic VAT report (the “OSS Return”).

(Source: https://www.loyensloeff.com/media/479585/e-commerce-brochure.pdf)