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How does a Dutch VAT number help me be VAT compliant if I don’t sell in the Netherlands?

Imagine the following scenario. If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance it will sound familiar. Let’s say you sell merchandise online. To facilitate sales to customers in Europe, you import your goods into the EU and dispatch them to a warehouse in France. In such a scenario you’ll probably want to consider registering for VAT … in the Netherlands. 

Now that raises an obvious question. What does the Netherlands have to do with France? Or wherever you warehouse goods? And what does a Dutch VAT number have to do with your customers in Germany and Slovakia and Italy?

A more efficient way to import

The answer is actually very simple. Before you can get your goods to your EU customers, you need to get them into the EU. And there are very good reasons to use the Netherlands as your EU import hub. 

For one, the Netherlands has class-leading logistics infrastructure. And their customs processes are highly efficient. Plus, the Netherlands offers an important advantage to importers: you can defer import VAT. 

When deferring your VAT, via the Netherlands’ Article 23 mechanism, you account for the import VAT on your VAT return. In effect, you don’t have to physically pay the import VAT.

It’s a tremendous cash flow benefit. However, in order to take advantage of Article 23, you must be registered for VAT in the Netherlands. No Dutch VAT number, no Article 23.

Does that sound complicated? It doesn’t have to be. Vatglobal’s specialised Fast Lane to Europe manages all the VAT and customs processes for you. We can even optimise your shipping, via our vship service. 

One registration for all your e-commerce sales

By now, you’ve probably heard of the new EU VAT regulations, designed to simplify VAT compliance on e-commerce sales.

Notably, online retailers can take advantage of the new One Stop Shop to account for intra-European sales. The EU is also introducing an Import One Stop Shop, which enables you to account for low value imports that are shipped directly to EU customers.

The new mechanism simplifies VAT compliance because you only need to register for the OSS or IOSS in one EU country. Thereafter, you will file a single quarterly VAT return accounting for VAT on your sales throughout the EU.  

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