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Importing from EU Countries

When importing from another EU country to Germany this is called intra-community acquisition. 

When your German VAT registered company is ordering goods delivered to Germany from another EU country, the EU supplier will issue an invoice as VAT free intra-community delivery. This means no VAT will be issued on the invoice. Therefore the valid German VAT ID number has to be provided to the EU supplier. If the VAT ID number was not provided in advance the EU supplier has to issue an invoice with their local VAT. 

In Germany the intra-community acquisition has to be included in the preliminary VAT returns under the reverse charge mechanism. Within the reverse charge mechanism in the VAT return the liability of VAT and the refund of the VAT will be included. 

As example, a Swiss company is VAT registered in Germany as they have a warehouse in Germany. Their suppliers are located in different countries in the EU. The Swiss company is ordering the goods in Poland and is providing the supplier with their German VAT ID number. The Polish supplier is issuing an net invoice without any VAT as intra-community delivery and is including the German VAT ID number of the Swiss company. The Swiss company is including the invoice as intra-community acquisition under the reverse charge mechanism in the German VAT return. 

Summary of the most important details

  • An intra-community acquisition is a purchase in Germany from another EU company. 
  • The purchasing company has to provide the EU supplier the valid German VAT ID no.
  • The intra-community acquisition will be included in the German VAT return. 
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