background image
12.1. VAT on the Supply of Goods by Non-Residents

In principle, where a non-resident taxable person supplies goods, located in the territory of another EU Member State to another taxable person and the goods are physically delivered in Belgium, the person acquiring the goods will have to pay VAT over the acquisition price (“intra-community acquisition”). The person acquiring the goods can consequently deduct the input VAT if he uses the goods to carry out taxable supplies. If a non-resident taxable person sells goods that are already located in Belgium, the non-resident taxable person performs a taxable supply of goods and will have to charge VAT on the invoice. A non-resident taxable person supplying goods to a Belgian non-taxable person where the goods are located outside Belgium and delivered to Belgium will have to charge Belgian VAT on the invoice.

Under certain circumstances, taxable persons not established in Belgium may have to fulfill VAT obligations.

Digital Supplies

Effective 1 July 2021, the Belgium has implemented the new EU VAT rules for e-commerce transactions for supplies made to non-taxable persons. The following are the key changes under the new rules:

  • The distance sales threshold of EUR 35,000 is abolished and the destination principle for distance sales of goods applies instead. Thus, supplies are subject to VAT in the Member State of the recipient, regardless of their distance sales volume;
  • In order to reduce the administrative burden on smaller businesses, a simplification option is introduced for smaller businesses with annual sales not exceeding EUR 10,000, which allows the accounting of VAT according to local rules. Hence, the VAT is collected in the Member State where the seller is established or where transportation starts;
  • A One Stop Shop system (OSS) is introduced for intra-EU distance sales of goods and cross-border supplies of services to customers within the EU. Previously, Mini One Stop Shop rules prevailing until 30 June 2021 are limited to specific B2C services viz. telecommunication, broadcasting and electronic services provided by EU service providers. Under the OSS, an opportunity is given to the taxpayer to register in one EU Member State (referred to as the Member State of Identification) and report all sales to customers across the EU in a single, consolidated VAT return. The VAT on consignments imported from outside the EU with a value not exceeding EUR 150 can be reported through a new special scheme viz. Import One Stop Shop (IOSS);
  • For goods imported from outside the EU, the current import exemption for low value goods (below EUR 22) ceases to apply. Therefore, VAT at the appropriate rate becomes due on such imports in the EU; and
  • The new rules set out requirements for maintaining and submitting information on e-commerce activities and supplies, including types of supplies of goods and services, delivery dates, amounts, VAT rate applied, invoice information, etc.

COVID-19 Emergency Measures

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the import of certain goods needed to combat the effects of COVID-19 is exempted from VAT from 31 March 2020 until 31 December 2021 (previously until 30 April 2021). It is clarified that the total exemption from import VAT supersedes the application of the temporary VAT reductions for certain supplies, including the 6% VAT rate for the import of masks and hydroalcoholic gels, and the zero VAT rate for the import of COVID-19 vaccines and medical devices for in-vitro diagnostics (testing) for COVID-19.