ECJ - VIES not required on zero rating

28 February 2017

The European Court of Justice has ruled that an intra-community supply of goods (EC Sale) can be zero rated, even if the customers VAT number in the member state of arrival was not shown as valid on the VIES register.

The VIES register is an online database of EU VAT numbers on which companies can cross check the authenticity of a VAT number in order to make intra-community supplies.  Many EU countries do not automatically list VAT registered companies on this database.

The ruling made in the Euro Tyre BV case (C-21/16), stated that providing the formal conditions in the EU VAT Directive for the zero rating of the supply were met, then the supply can still be zero rated regardless of whether the VAT number of the company receiving the goods is showing as valid on the VIES database.

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