Do you sell products through Amazon in Europe? Then you can (and probably should) opt for PAN European Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) using PAN EU VAT identification numbers. But what does this all mean?
What is Amazon PAN European FBA?
This entails that Amazon takes care of your logistics – shipments, returns, customer service, invoicing and also inventory storage. When you opt for PAN European FBA, you’ll ship all your products to one of the PAN European countries (Germany, France, Italy, Poland, the Czech Republic and Spain, Sweden or the Netherlands). From there, Amazon distributes them further towards the other countries you have selected. A major advantage of this is that the products are stored relatively close to customers, they are delivered a lot quicker! It’s definitely a great option to consider and make use of if you’re looking to reach new markets and customers. In general, Amazon FBA is used to help growing businesses and sellers.
What is a PAN European VAT identification number?
Amazon transfers your inventory to other European countries, this means that you are also liable for VAT in those respective places. In other words, if you make use of PAN European FBA, you are liable for VAT in each of the countries where you hold inventory, and you need a VAT number for each of these countries. It’s important to note that Amazon does not automatically do this for you, you’ll have to reigister for these yourself!
Since mid-2021 it became possible to select the countries individually, meaning you no longer had to register all countries! You can carefully select to which countries Amazon can transfer your stock to. Since this option became available, the Netherlands and Sweden have also been included among your options.
Therefore, as an online retailer who sells through Amazon and wants to grow their business, it’s a pretty good idea to invest in PAN European VAT identification numbers!
What do I have to do as an Amazon FBA seller?
As an Amazon FBA seller you must:
- have a VAT number for each country where your inventory is stored (in FBA warehouses)
- file monthly or quarterly VAT return
- submit your OSS (one stop shop) declaration in the country where you reside
It is obligatory to file a VAT return in every EU country where you have inventory stored. So, it is also mandatory to have a VAT identification number there. Don’t panic though, Staxxer can help you apply for PAN European VAT numbers!
The VAT return period differs per country where your inventory is stored. This may be monthly, whilst in another country you may have to file a VAT tax return quarterly. Once again, our good old Staxxers can also help you with this.
Finally, it’s still advisable to keep an eye on your One Stop Shop declaration because you need to file this in the country where you live. This applies to sales that you make in countries where you do not store inventory, but do ship to. You can then choose to declare VAT locally, but you can also opt for the OSS system. If you are unable to resolve any issues with your OSS declaration, you know where to come knocking!
Why should I register for PAN EU VAT identification numbers?
The first and most important reason to apply for PAN European VAT identification numbers is: you become liable for VAT if you store inventory in another country. When you choose Amazon FBA, you give Amazon free rein! This means that Amazon can choose where your inventory ends up. That is why you need to keep a close eye on this!
In addition to being subject to VAT, the FBA program also has some advantages for you (the seller)! Some advantages of PAN European FBA include:
- Shorter delivery times: because your products are stored relatively close to the buyer in a department store, the order can be delivered much quicker
- Low (international) shipping costs: when you join the Amazon FBA program, Amazon offers lower shipping costs
- No fuss with customer service: Amazon also takes care of the customer service part
- Access to Amazon Prime audience: by choosing Amazon FBA, your products get labeled with the Amazon Prime logo, which is a seal of better service and shipping! This seal of quality will also increase your products in the Amazon rankings
- Better buy-box positioning: by choosing Amazon FBA, your products qualify relatively quicker for the buy box, increasing the chance that they will be sold
In addition, VAT registrations can get stuck, and can sometimes even take months or years. This is partly because most EU countries require a lot of paperwork to process the application. For example, you’ll have to demonstrate that you do indeed trade locally, so that you are liable for VAT in respective countries. For this, documents must be regularly submitted to the relevant tax authorities. It is therefore crucial that all registration is done carefully and correctly to prevent it from taking too long! Need help with your registrations? Staxxer is happy to help!
How much does it cost to register PAN EU VAT numbers?
To make use of FBA, you need a VAT number in each of the countries where you store inventory. This is because you are liable for VAT as soon as you have inventory across the border in another EU country. Requesting a VAT number and the associated documents for each country separately (these differ per country) can be quite a headache and very time-consuming. Not to mention that it would definitely help for the application of VAT numbers if you could speak all relevant languages since communication about VAT matters often takes place in language of the originating tax authorities.
Staxxer is happy to take the weight of this all off your shoulders! For just €1,795.00 all-in we request a VAT number for all 6 original PAN European countries and arrange any additional required documents specifically for Germany, France, Italy, Poland, the Czech Republic and Spain.
How to register for PAN European VAT identification numbers?
Would you like to apply for PAN European VAT identification numbers, or are you struggling to get all matters related sorted? We are happy to help you on your way!