1. New EU sales listing
As explained in previous newsletters, one ‘quick fix’ implements a uniform EU-wide simplification for call-off stocks. Under this simplification, a VAT registration for transferring goods to such a stock in the member state of destination can be avoided. The simplification is subject to some formalities, including the separate reporting in the EU sales listing of (i) the initial dispatch of the goods and (ii) the VAT exempt intra-Community supply once the goods are taken out of the stock.
For this purpose, the Belgian EU sales listing will now be divided into two parts: the first part includes the existing data to be reported for intra-Community supplies and transfers, the second part includes the VAT numbers of the consignees of goods that are transferred under the call-off simplification.
The new rules also explain in more detail how corrections of material mistakes should be handled. It is important to follow and apply these new rules correctly as the submission of a correct EU sales listing has become a material condition for applying the VAT exemption for intra-Community supplies.
Finally, the VAT authorities are preparing detailed guidelines on these new rules and how to apply them in practice. These guidelines should be published soon in order to allow businesses to correctly adapt their systems.
2. New rules for the proof of transport
Following the introduction of the ‘quick fix’ that changes the conditions for applying the VAT exemption for intra-Community supplies and the introduction of rebuttable presumptions for the proof of transport, the Belgian authorities have replaced Royal Decree nr. 52 on proof of the VAT exemption for intra-Community supplies with a new version.
This new Royal Decree nr. 52 makes clear that Belgium still permits businesses to prove the VAT exemption by all means. As such, the actual supply of the goods could be proved by all kinds of documents, including contracts, order forms, invoices and payment documents. For the proof of transport, businesses can rely on the following non-exhaustive list of documents: transport documents, transport invoices, insurance documents, and payment documents for transport.
Additionally, the Royal Decree makes clear that businesses can rely on the rebuttable presumptions as laid down in the EU implementing Regulation (see previous newsflash).
Lastly, the Belgian VAT authorities have taken the opportunity to implement the current administrative practice on the destination document into the Royal Decree and to install a ‘national’ presumption of proof of cross-border transport. Under these rules, the transport of the goods outside Belgium is in principle assumed when such a destination document is available, together with a transport invoice if transport is made on behalf of the supplier. Nevertheless, this destination document is still subject to various formal requirements, such as: it must include certain mandatory information; it must be issued by the supplier, the recipient or a third party that is duly authorised; the destination document also must be dated, signed and sent to the supplier within 3 months by the recipient or a person authorised by the recipient.
The new Royal Decree makes clear that Belgium still allows sufficient flexibility for the proof of transport for intra-Community supplies. On the other hand, the destination document will become more important as it has now been implemented into the Royal Decree.
Again, the practical impact of these new rules requires more detailed explanations by the VAT authorities in guidelines that, hopefully, will be published soon.
Stijn Vastmans - Partner (email@example.com)
Gert Vranckx - Senior Associate (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Loulou Geboers - Associate (email@example.com)
Source: new Royal Decree n° 50, 11 December 2019 and new Royal Decree n° 52, 11 December 2019, B.S., 23 December 2019