Imported mail order trade A sale is deemed as imported mail order trading if a business delivers goods from a non-EU country to specific purchasers in an EU Member State. The rules and regulations for the distance sale of imported goods take effect on 1 July 2021.

For goods deliveries from a non-EU country, additional value-added tax may be payable over and above the import sales tax based on the import mail order trading rules. The delivery location for mail order sales of imported goods (in contrast to section 3, paragraph 8 or 9 of the Umsatzsteuergesetz (UstG)) is the location in which the movement of goods ends (country of destination). This rule applies in two cases:

  • The service location in the case of mail order sales of imported goods is in the destination country if the goods are imported in a different EU Member State than the one in which the carriage of the goods ends.
  • The service location in the case of mail order sales of imported goods is also in the destination country if the business makes use of the specific arrangement for the IOSS (section 25b of the Umsatzsteuergesetz (UStG) of 1994). For mail order sales of imported goods declared through the IOSS, no additional import sales tax is payable. Furthermore, the business only needs to register for VAT in one Member State and is able to declare and make payments via the IOSS for VAT payable anywhere in the EU for mail order sales of imported goods with a real value that does not exceed Euro 150.

Affected sales and exceptions

The rules and regulations for mail order sales of imported goods apply only for certain purchasers. This is the same group of purchasers as for intra-EU mail order sales.

Apart from a few exceptions, every goods item may be subject to the rules and regulations for mail order sales of imported goods. Excepted from this provision is the delivery of goods subject to excise duty to a legal person that is a non-business consumer and the delivery of new vehicles.

What is the difference between mail order sales of imported goods and intra-EU mail order trade?

The rules and regulations for mail order sales of imported goods apply only for mail order trade from a non-EU country into the EU. However, if a goods item is delivered to a consumer in Austria not from a non-EU country but from another EU Member State, the rules and regulations for intra-EU mail order trade and not those for mail order sales of imported goods must be followed. Furthermore, unlike for intra-EU mail order trade, mail order sales of imported goods are not subject to any sales limit or delivery threshold.

Translated by the European Commission
Last update: 12 February 2021

Responsible for the content: Federal Ministry of Finance

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