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Finance Law No. 2019-1479 of December 28, 2019 for 2020 has simplified the formalities relating to distance sales of products subject to excise duty.

This provision covers the sales of excise products already released for consumption in a Member State of the European Union and sent directly or indirectly by a supplier not established in France to be delivered to individuals residing in France (B2C).

The supplier is required in this case to appoint a tax representative who fulfils on his behalf the reporting obligations and payment of excise duties due on sales.
The simplification coming into force on January 1, 2020 relates to the formalities to be carried out by the tax representative with regard to the formalities for declaring and paying the excise duty due in France.
Until now, the tax representative had for each shipment of excise goods:

  • to identify himself prior to shipment, record with customs services the payment of the duties due for this operation and declare the place of delivery of the goods as well as the name and address of the recipient;
  • to pay excise duties on the basis of a declaration, upon receipt of the products;
  • Keep an accounting of deliveries and present it when requested by the control services.

Since January 1 of this year, declarations and payments are aggregated monthly, rather than carried out operation by operation, and centralised with the customs office of the place of establishment of the tax representative.
Furthermore, the transaction bonding system is replaced by a perennial approval of the tax representative supported by a joint guarantee.

Finally, the simplification also relates to the accompanying documents for the products. Previously, products were shipped under the cover of a printed version of an electronic administrative document, or any commercial document, supplemented by a unique reference number assigned by the customs office of destination. From now on, goods can be transported under cover of the usual commercial documents (invoices, purchase orders), provided that they contain certain specific information.

Regarding the formalities for declaring and paying VAT on distance sales, it is recalled that suppliers must currently identify themselves with VAT, and appoint a tax representative if they are established outside the European Union. As of July 1, 2021, suppliers will, alternatively, have the possibility of fulfilling their declaratory and VAT payment obligations through a one-stop-shop enabling them to centralize formalities with the tax authorities of the place of their establishment or the one of their tax representative, regardless of the Member State of destination of the goods.

  • What can we do for you? We can act as a tax representative for the reporting and payment formalities related to your distance sales of excise products, and advise you on any question relating to these operations.

products, and advise you on any question relating to these operations.

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