Publication date 17 October 2013
Germany has increased the administrative burden for intra-Community supplies, i.e. the cross-border transport of goods within the European Union (EU). Customers must sign for receipt of the goods and return this Gelangenbestätigung to their supplier. This will not only affect Dutch businesses supplying goods from Germany, but also customers resident in the Netherlands who purchase goods from Germany.
Suppliers can apply the zero VAT rate to cross-border supplies of goods made to businesses within the EU, provided they have the valid VAT registration number of their customers. The supplier must also be able to prove that the goods were shipped across the border (for example, a signed CMR consignment note, an invoice from the freight forwarder, or a copy of the sales invoice).
Germany has recently increased the administrative burden for proving cross-border shipments by introducing an evidentary requirement, i.e. the Gelangenbestätigung. Customers must sign for receipt of the goods and return this Gelangenbestätigung to their supplier. The supplier must retain this document in their records. This increases the administrative burden for both the supplier and the customer. This change therefore not only affects Dutch businesses supplying goods from Germany, but also Dutch businesses with German suppliers