Sign up for tax alert emails    GTNU homepage    Tax newsroom    Email document    Print document    Download document

June 25, 2020

EU reaches agreement on postponement of VAT e-commerce rules due to COVID-19 crisis

Following an earlier proposal by the European Commission to address the severe disruptions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the European Union (EU) Member States’ ambassadors to the EU reached a preliminary agreement on postponing by six months the application of the VAT regime applicable to online companies – as of 1 July 2021, instead of 1 January 2021. The postponement should be formally adopted by the Council of the European Union, without further discussion, once the text has undergone a legal and linguistic review. This means that, assuming the Council will adopt the proposal as expected, the EU VAT e-commerce measures will apply with effect from 1 July 2021.

EU e-commerce VAT changes

The 2021 e-commerce VAT changes include the following measures:

  • Businesses operating electronic interfaces (e.g., marketplaces or platforms) will, in certain circumstances, be deemed for VAT purposes to be the supplier of the goods and will be responsible for collecting and paying the VAT due.
  • The Mini One Stop Shop (MOSS) will become the One Stop Shop (OSS) and this facility will apply to all types of cross-border services to final consumers in the EU.
  • Also, the OSS scheme will be extended to all types of business-to-consumer (B2C) services as well as to intra-EU distance sales of goods and to certain domestic supplies facilitated by electronic interfaces (subject to the €10,000 threshold).
  • The creation of an import scheme covering distance sales of goods imported from third countries or territories (i.e., from non-EU jurisdictions) to customers in the EU up to a value of €150.
  • The abolition of the current VAT exemption for imports of goods in a small consignment of a value of up to €22.
  • Where the import OSS is not used, a second simplification mechanism will be available for imports. Import VAT will be collected from customers by the customs declarant (e.g., postal operator, or courier firm etc.) which will make payment to the customs authorities via a monthly payment.


For additional information with respect to this Alert, please contact the following:

Ernst & Young Belastingadviseurs LLP, Amsterdam
Ernst & Young LLP (United Kingdom), London




The information contained herein is general in nature and is not intended, and should not be construed, as legal, accounting or tax advice or opinion provided by Ernst & Young LLP to the reader. The reader also is cautioned that this material may not be applicable to, or suitable for, the reader's specific circumstances or needs, and may require consideration of non-tax and other tax factors if any action is to be contemplated. The reader should contact his or her Ernst & Young LLP or other tax professional prior to taking any action based upon this information. Ernst & Young LLP assumes no obligation to inform the reader of any changes in tax laws or other factors that could affect the information contained herein.


Copyright © 2024, Ernst & Young LLP.


All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced, retransmitted or otherwise redistributed in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including by photocopying, facsimile transmission, recording, rekeying, or using any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from Ernst & Young LLP.


Any U.S. tax advice contained herein was not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by the recipient for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed under the Internal Revenue Code or applicable state or local tax law provisions.


"EY" refers to the global organisation, and may refer to one or more, of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients.


Privacy  |  Cookies  |  BCR  |  Legal  |  Global Code of Conduct Opt out of all email from EY Global Limited.


Cookie Settings

This site uses cookies to provide you with a personalized browsing experience and allows us to understand more about you. More information on the cookies we use can be found here. By clicking 'Yes, I accept' you agree and consent to our use of cookies. More information on what these cookies are and how we use them, including how you can manage them, is outlined in our Privacy Notice. Please note that your decision to decline the use of cookies is limited to this site only, and not in relation to other EY sites or Please refer to the privacy notice/policy on these sites for more information.

Yes, I accept         Find out more