18 November 2019
Last month, the EU Commission (EC) sent Germany a formal notice to withdraw its requirement for EU and non-EU sellers on German marketplaces to obtain an F22 VAT Certificate.
The EC stated that this paper requirement is an inefficient and disproportionate measure which hinders the free access of EU businesses to the German market, and as a result, is in violation of EU Law which should allow for free movements of goods for EU businesses.
As stated in previous articles, the F22 certificate confirms that the online seller is up-to-date with their German VAT compliance and needs to be collected by all online marketplaces (such as eBay, Amazon etc.), which the seller uses to sell their goods or services in the country. Failure to obtain and produce this certificate by the marketplaces will automatically make them liable for any unpaid German VAT of their seller.
Germany was given two months to respond to this notice and if it fails to do so or the response is inadequate, the EC may send a reasoned opinion asking them to amend this requirement in their VAT law. Failure to incorporate this could result in a referral to the European Court of Justice.