A well-functioning One-Stop-Shop with strong uptake is key to the success of modernising VAT

E-commerce growth is a crucial element of the EU's Digital Single Market.

When it comes to parcel delivery in a fast-growing e-commerce market, postal operators are trusted partners, connecting numerous e-suppliers worldwide with every single European citizen.

At the heart of the VAT reform, postal operators welcome the overall approach of the Commission to modernise the VAT rules for cross-border e-commerce, combat VAT fraud and reduce the administrative burden on businesses and suppliers as outlined in their December 2016 proposal.

However, discussions which took place in the ECOFIN meeting last week revealed some on-going concerns. We share in particular the arguments that, under this concept, the justifiable cost benefits (if any) remain unclear. Should companies choose not to register with the One-Stop-Shop (OSS) system, postal operators are obliged to levy VAT. 

Therefore, postal operators strongly urge that the Commission and the Member States, defer the removal of the "VAT de Minimis exemption", a long-established provision for imports of low value items, until the OSS is efficiently functioning for businesses and customers alike, allowing the postal industry to effectively support the growth of e-commerce and the VAT ambitions at the same time.

Moreover, in a recent study by Copenhagen Economics, a leading consultancy, published last week, it was revealed that the removal of the VAT exemption will cost the delivery industry an additional 1 billion euros in terms of processing costs. It will also create disproportionate administrative burden for national customs and tax administration, e-sellers - all of which will ultimately affect EU consumers, thus hampering the growth of e-commerce in Europe.

We are confident that a solution can be found in coming weeks acceptable for all stakeholders involved.

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For more information, please contact:

Carlo Sauvé
Chair of the PostEurop's VAT Working Group

Cynthia Wee-Neumann
Communications Manager
T: +2 2 773 11 92 

POSTEUROP is the association which represents European public postal operators. It is committed to supporting and developing a sustainable and competitive European postal communication market accessible to all customers and ensuring a modern and affordable universal service. Our Members represent 2 million employees across Europe and deliver to 800 million customers daily through over 175,000 counters

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