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AmCham EU’s Plenary meeting discusses the 2021 VAT reform for e-commerce

16 Dec 2019
All Committees
Customs & Trade Facilitation

On Wednesday, 11 December 2019, AmCham EU hosted its customs Plenary meeting. The discussion this year focused on the upcoming 2021 VAT reform for e-commerce in the EU. The keynote address was delivered by Ana Hinojosa, Director of Compliance & Facilitation, World Customs Organization (WCO). She gave her perspective on the ‘small package tsunami’ created by the advent of e-commerce and the challenges it brings to customs administrations around the world.

The panel discussion featured expert speakers from DG Taxation and Customs Union (DG TAXUD), Dutch Customs and Amazon. The panel was composed of Ana-Maria Caraman, Policy Officer, VAT Unit, DG TAXUD; Sophie Claessens, Senior Manager, EU Public Policy and Tax, Amazon; Frank Heijmann, Head of Trade Relations, Customs Administration of the Netherlands; and Alina Mitrea, Policy Officer, Customs Legislation Unit, DG TAXUD. The debate covered multiple aspects of the reform’s implementation. The discussion was moderated by Walter Van der Meiren, Chair, AmCham EU Customs and Trade Facilitation Committee and Brokerage customs Manager, UPS. They discussed multiple aspects of the reform’s implementation, including the state of readiness of Member States’ implementation and the new Import One Stop System (IOSS) optional simplification measure.

The rise of e-commerce requires supply chain actors to adapt and innovate in new and different ways, responding to demands from online marketplaces, businesses, traditional retailers and consumers. This reform will revolutionise the way Europe trades. The new legislation, coming into effect on 1 January 2021 will make significant changes to the supply chain and will impact all economic stakeholders. It will allow foreign entities to register in the EU for this particular scheme. It will start new revenue streams for the EU and the Member States whilst increasing protection of the EU economy in terms of revenue protection and counterfeit. All business-to-business (B2B), business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business-to-consumers (B2B2C) transactions will change. The new VAT rules for e-commerce could have a significant impact on industry and consumers both within and beyond EU borders. If implemented correctly, they could help modernise e-commerce and deliver substantial benefits for Member States, their businesses and consumers.

Read AmCham’s Position Paper on the 2021 VAT reform for e-commerce.