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E-commerce Directive: entry in force of the new VAT rules to be postponed until 1 July 2021

Proposal of the 8 May 2020 from the EU Commission


The 8 May 2020, the EU Commission has announced a proposal for the postponement until 1 July 2021 of the entry into force of the new VAT rules applicable to e-commerce transactions as they result from both Directives EU/2017/2455 and EU/2019/1995.

These new rules deeply modify the regime applicable to "B to C" distance sales of goods (both intra-Community and imported goods sold by taxable persons established in the EU or in a third country). The reform also provides an extension of the “one-stop-shop” (OSS) to those transaction but also to all intra-EU “B to C” services.

In principle, the e-commerce Directive should come into force on 1 January 2020.

Many Member States have not yet implemented the new provisions into their national legislation (in France, the transposition was carried out by Article 147 of the Finance Act for 2020 for an entry in force on 1rst January 2021 that should also be postponed).

The postponement is justified by the extensive work, in particular to adapt IT systems, that the reform imposes on the European Commission and Member States as well as on business.

A six-month postponement would be a wise decision, especially as the reform does not only concern e-commerce operators but also all companies that market their products and services via their own websites in addition to their traditional distribution network.

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