Amazon FBA / German stock
In order to save transport costs when sending goods cross-border, many mail order companies make use of the possibility of warehousing in other EU countries.
Suppliers are often used which take on the shipment of the goods to the customers and the sales platform as well as offering warehousing. Here, many online traders use amazon’s complete solution called Fulfilment by Amazon.
It is always compulsory for foreign companies with stock in Germany to register for VAT and there are no simplification regulations in force as in other EU countries.
The sale of goods in Germany
The sale of goods from stock must always be assessed according to German VAT law. Sales to customers in Germany must always be invoiced with German VAT. On sales to customers abroad the calculation depends on the status of the customer (private individual or company) and the country (EU or third country).
The incoming goods must be declared as an intra-community movement from the other EU country to Germany. The movement is to be registered as an intra-community delivery from the foreign part of the company with the foreign VAT identification number to the German VAT identification number. An intra-community purchase will then be recorded in Germany. If the incoming goods result from a German supplier, the company which is registered for VAT in Germany will receive an invoice with German pre-tax which can be drawn within the framework of the preliminary VAT return. On an import from a third country the paid import sales tax can also be drawn in the preliminary VAT return.
Summary of the most important details
- It is always compulsory to register for VAT if there is stock in Germany.
- The most common case is the so-called Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA).
- Sales to customers from stock are to be calculated according to German VAT law.