Selling in Europe provides opportunities to reach many countries from a single selling account, so it's important that you understand how the European Union applies Value Added Tax (VAT) to orders made online.
The VAT in Europe is a consumption tax assessed on the value added to goods and services. It applies to goods and service that are bought and sold for use or consumption in Europe. Thus, goods that are sold for export or services that are sold to customers abroad are normally not subject to VAT. Imports into Europe are taxed.
Value Added Tax is:
Learn more about the Value Added Tax (VAT) (available in English, French and German only).
Registered VAT traders are given a VAT number and have to show the VAT collected from customers on invoices. In this way, the customer, if he is a registered trader, knows how much he can deduct in turn, and the consumer knows how much tax he has paid on the final product.
Given that EU law only requires that the standard VAT rate must be at least 15% and the reduced rate at least 5%, actual rates applied vary between European countries, and certain types of products. In addition, certain member states have retained separate rules in specific areas.
The most reliable source of information on current VAT rates for a specified product in a particular member state is that country's VAT authority.
When selling products into Europe or from one European country to another, you should be aware that the tax rate can be different from country to country. If you transfer your own goods from one EU country to another, or if FBA transfers your goods from a fulfillment center into another country where your products were stored, the transfer may also be treated as a transaction subject to VAT. You are responsible for meeting any VAT obligations that apply, including VAT obligations in the Amazon store website locations, the country to which you are delivering (or Amazon is delivering on your behalf) your products, or any other countries.
If you import products into Europe, you may be obliged to pay VAT the moment the goods enter Europe-and in the destination country where you ship the goods. VAT is usually payable in the country of import by the declarant. You will be liable for the import VAT at the time of delivery of the goods unless you have entered into an arrangement with your supplier for the import VAT to be included in the price of the goods, and for the supplier to discharge the obligation by making a payment to the relevant tax authority.
If you are a company not established in the EU and ship your products from a non-EU country directly to a customer in an EU country, or you ship your products into an EU fulfillment center, please consult your tax advisor to assess any import and VAT obligations you may have.
Goods sold for export to customers outside of Europe may not be subject to European VAT.
For more information, visit the European Commission website (available in English, French and German only.
When you sell your products in the EU, you may need to charge VAT. You may need to request a VAT registration number, file VAT returns, and pay the VAT you collected from your customers to the tax authorities.
In most European countries, you can register online on the tax authority's website for the country where you want to register. Most of these websites provide the VAT information in English. The website will usually provide an online form for registering or a PDF form you can download to complete and return by post. If there is no provision for registering online, you can find out where to go to register for a VAT number. After you have submitted your request for a VAT number, you may also be sent forms to sign and return through regular post.
Registering for VAT may lead to a number of associated compliance requirements, including the need to file reports and issue VAT invoices.
Registering for VAT may be required depending on the level of your sales as well as where your inventory is stored. You should consult your tax advisors as to your VAT registration requirements based on your individual seller set up.
When you sell products to customers from your inventory stored in the EU, you may need to file VAT returns in the country from which you ship your products, and you may be required to file VAT returns in the country to which you ship your products (for example, if exceeding a threshold for "distance selling" in the European Union).
Distance selling is when you sell goods from one European Union country to customers in another European Union country where, generally speaking, these customers are private individuals without undertaking any business activity for VAT purposes.
The "distance selling threshold" is a value in Euro or local currency established by each country within the European Union. If your sales that you ship from one country into another country are greater than that country's threshold, you must register for VAT in that country. You are responsible to report, collect, and pay the VAT in that country.
Please note that the distance selling threshold is not a sum total of all your sales across the European Union. Each European Union country has a distance selling threshold, and these thresholds vary from country to country. Consult with a tax authority for the country where you want to sell your products to verify the distance selling threshold.
In many European countries, customers expect a VAT invoice. The European VAT legislation may require you to provide a VAT invoice, and customers' expectations usually go beyond the law. In Germany and Italy, for example, customers often expect an invoice for high-value items.
|Europe||Taxation and Customs Union||English|
|United Kingdom||Imports and purchases from abroad: paying and reclaiming VAT||English|
|Germany||Federal Ministry of Finance||English|
|France||Foreign companies: Your tax obligations in France||English|
When you import goods into the European Union (EU) or the United Kingdom (UK) (as the case may be), you will need to comply with applicable customs laws, as well as laws and regulations that are applicable to the country of import (for example, the Union Customs Code (EU) and the Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Act (UK)). Please note that you are not authorized to import your goods in the name of Amazon EU S.à r.l. or any other Amazon subsidiary or affiliate (indistinctly referred to as "Amazon" and its corporate name as an "Amazon name") or to reference Amazon anywhere in your shipping documentation. Otherwise, your shipments may be returned to their origin, abandoned, or disposed of at your cost, at the discretion of the carrier or freight forwarder carrying your goods.
For additional details, please refer to: Taxations and Customs Union
Importation regulations may differ between countries, and will depend on the mode of shipping you choose. Therefore, you should strongly consider hiring a logistics provider, such as a customs broker or freight forwarder, to handle the importation process for your company and help you understand all applicable requirements.
When your goods are ready to be shipped from your facility, manufacturer, or distributor, the shipper prepares the commercial invoice. It is critical that the commercial invoice be accurate to avoid delays in clearing customs. The following information must be included on the commercial invoice when importing goods into an EU country or the UK:
|Example "Ship to/Deliver to" field||Example "Importer of record" field|
|[Seller legal name] c/o FBA
1401 Rue du Champ Rouge
45770 Saran, France
|[Seller legal name] or [Seller's representative legal name]
1234 Rue de Lyon
9876 Paris, France
VAT ID: YX87654321
Please note the differences in addresses. The "Ship-to" address includes the Amazon fulfillment center, while the "Importer of record" address includes the seller's or seller representative's registered address.
Additional information may also be required. These requirements are subject to change. It is your responsibility to determine and comply with import requirements.
Depending on the type of product, there may be additional certificates and licenses required for import. These can include a Declaration of Conformity, test reports or leather certificates.
Please note that the document requirements listed above are in addition to the system-generated document requirements specified in the Delivery Creation Workflow.
Please check with your logistics provider or customs broker to ensure that you have the complete documentation needed to import into the destination country.
Amazon fulfillment centers have requirements for the deliveries they receive, including the size of the pallets and the type of truck that can deliver to the fulfillment center. The Send/replenish inventory to Amazon page provides information needed for preparing your shipment to an Amazon fulfillment center. Paying attention to these requirements and best practices will help avoid delays in getting your inventory to the fulfillment center and into your customers' hands.
Using postal services such as China Post, Royal Mail, Parcelforce, and Deutsche Post to send your shipments to Amazon fulfillment centers is not recommended. Postal services may have different importer of record requirements for their shipments than for freight or express carrier shipments. It is possible that by using postal services to ship your goods, you could not ship to an Amazon fulfillment center as the IOR. If you are considering a postal service as a shipping option, you should consider sending the shipment to the address of your representative in the country of import and, after the shipment is delivered, forward the goods to the Amazon fulfillment center address. Before shipping, you may want to check with the postal service that your company or representative can be the importer of record.
For additional information regarding FBA imports and exports, please read the Importing and exporting inventory page.
You must ensure that you have all intellectual property rights (such as patents, trademarks, or copyrights) necessary for listing your products in the EU or selling them cross-border within the EU. You may need to have the permission of the brand owner to sell their products in a given country in order to avoid an infringement of intellectual property rights (as in the case where your license to the intellectual property is only valid for a specific country). In particular, your products must not be counterfeit or illegal parallel imports.
You should investigate the law governing intellectual property for every country where you want to list your products because your rights in intellectual property may only be valid for a particular country.
In addition, you may want to protect your own intellectual property in Europe.
|United Kingdom||Intellectual Property Office||English|
|German Patent and Trade Mark Office||English|
|Italy||Ufficio Italiano Brevetti e Marchi||Italian|
An intellectual property rights owner (in particular trademark owners, copyright holders and their licensees) may prohibit you from importing or selling his goods in the European Economic Area (EEA), if you sourced them outside the EEA.
This prohibition applies even if the rights owner distributes the same product type in the EEA or does not distribute in the EEA, as long as he holds an intellectual property right in the EEA. Therefore, if you intend to list for instance, branded products or media items on Amazon’s EU stores which you source outside that region, seek expert legal advice and make sure the rights owner does not object to such parallel import. Otherwise, Amazon may be asked by the rights owner to take down your listings on Amazon’s EU stores for IP infringement. Repeated cases of IP infringements will also affect your ability to continue selling on Amazon.
Parallel import of goods sourced outside the EEA for sale in the EEA with the rights owner’s consent could still affect customer experience if the non-EEA product differs from the EEA version in any way (for example, packaging, warranty coverage, product variations). Describe your product appropriately to avoid negative customer feedback.
The laws in the UK are very similar to those in the EEA. IP rights owners may prohibit you from importing or selling their goods in the UK unless you, your supplier or an upstream supplier have the rights owner's consent to sell the items in the EEA or UK. It is important to note that a rights owner can prohibit the sale of an item that you sourced in the UK in Amazon’s European stores outside UK if they have not consented to the sale of that item in the EEA.
For more information, see: Important Information for International Sellers.
Products sold in the EU and UK may require product markings and labelling. For example:
You can read more about product markings and labelling requirements in the EU and UK here.
|EU||EU Standards and CE Marking||English|
|CE Conformity Marking||English|
|Marketing of products - CE conformity marking||English|
|United Kingdom||European Commission Product Directives||English|
|Germany||IXPOS: The German Business Portal||English|
|France||Direction Générale de la Concurrence, de la Consommation et de la Répression des Fraudes||French|
|Netherlands||Netherlands Enterprise Agency – CE markings for consumer and professional products||English|
|Sweden||Verksamt – Product Safety and CE marking||English|
REACH is the European regulation on chemicals and their safe use. It deals with the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemical substances. Under the REACH regulation, one of the things manufacturers and importers may be required to do is to gather certain information on the properties of the chemical substances in their products, and to register the information in a central database run by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).
In addition to REACH, the Regulation for Classification, Labeling, and Packaging of Substances and Mixtures (CLP Regulation) may apply to your products. The CLP Regulation incorporates the classification criteria and labeling rules agreed at the United Nations level, the so-called Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). GHS is based on the principle that the same hazards should be described and labeled in the same way all around the world.
|Europe||Chemicals are everywhere||English|
|European Chemicals Agency||English|
|Germany||German REACH-CLP Helpdesk||English|
|France||REACH: Ministère de l'Ecologie, du Développement Durable et de l'Energie||French|
|Italy||REACH: Ministero dell'Ambiente||Italian|
If you are selling electrical or electronic equipment, you may be subject to requirements regarding hazardous substances and end of life obligations. These include the European legislation concerning Restrictions of the Use of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) or the collection and recycling of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE).
Some requirements of the WEEE regulations that you may be subject to:
|EU||Recast of the WEEE Directive||English|
|United Kingdom||Electrical and electronic equipment (EEE)||English|
|Germany||Stiftung Elektro-Altgeräte Register||German|
|France||DEEE: Ministère de l'Ecologie, du Développement Durable et de l'Energie||French|
|Italy||Centro Di Coordinamento RAEE||Italian|
|Spain||Registro de aparatos eléctricos y electrónicos||Spanish|
If you sell batteries or products that contain batteries, you may be subject to requirements in relation to those batteries.
In the EU, the Battery Directive. The Battery Directive imposes specific obligations on producers and distributors of batteries. The UK also has similar requirements in place.
For example, some requirements you may be subject to include:
|EU||European Commission: Batteries||English|
|United Kingdom||Environment Agency: Batteries||English|
|France||Filières de responsabilité élargie du producteur (REP)||French|
|Spain||Registro de pilas y acumuladores||Spanish|
Packaged products you sell in the EU must comply with the European Packaging and Packaging Waste regulations.
For example, some requirements you may be subject to include:
|The EU||Packaging and Packaging Waste||English|
|United Kingdom||Producer responsibility||English|
|Germany||Abfall | Ressourcen||German|
|IXPOS Import Regulations||English|
|Spain||Management of Packaging||English|
Countries in Europe use different types of plugs, for example, the U.K. 3-pin rectangular plug and the continental European 2-pin round plug. In addition, products you import into the EU might work on a different voltage.
Please ensure that you comply with the regulations on plugs and voltage in any European member state in which you list your products. In particular, your customers should be able to safely use your products.
|Europe||Electrical Outlet and Adapter Plug International Summary||English|
|United Kingdom||DTI: PRODUCT STANDARDS||English|
|France||Legifrance - Retour à l'accueil||French|
|Germany||IEC - Stecker & Steckdosen||English|
|Verordnung über die Bereitstellung elektrischer Betriebsmittel zur Verwendung innerhalb bestimmter Spannungsgrenzen auf dem Markt (1.ProdSV)||German|
|Spain||Laser Measurement Product||Spanish|
The European Toys Safety Directive requires, among others things, that it must be possible to use a toy without any danger to one's health or safety during the toy's foreseeable and normal period of use. You may also be required to place warnings on the products that specify the appropriate conditions and limitations of use.
|Europe||The safety of toys||English|
|United Kingdom||DTI Toy Safety||English|
|Germany||BMEL - Product Safety||English|
|France||La sécurité des jouets||French|
|Italy||Ministry of Health on Toys||Italian|
|Spain||La Asociación Española de Fabricantes de Juguetes (AEFJ)||Spanish|
Medical devices range from simple products like bandages to the most sophisticated life-supporting products. If your product is considered a medical device, you may be subject to the European Medical Devices Directive. The Directive requires, among other things, that medical devices shall not compromise the safety and health of patients, or users and other persons when properly implanted, maintained, and used.
|Europe||Summaries of European Legislation||English|
|United Kingdom||Healthcare and medical: international trade regulations||English|
|Germany||BFARM - Medical Devices||English|
|France||ANSM: dispositifs médicaux||French|
|Italy||Informazioni generali sugli avvisi di sicurezza - FSN (Field Safety Notice)||Italian|
Pharmaceuticals and cosmetics are subject to various regulations in Europe, including special labeling and packaging requirements. The regulations are only partially harmonized. For example, a product may be sold over-the-counter in some European member states, while in others it may only be legally sold in pharmacies.
|Europe||Pharmaceutical and cosmetic products||English|
|United Kingdom||Regulating Medicines and Medical Devices||English|
|Germany||BFARM - Medicinal Products||English|
|Bundesministerium für Gesundheit - Arzneimitteldaten Zentral und Transparent||German|
|France||ANSM: produits cosmétiques||French|
|Italy||Informazioni generali sugli avvisi di sicurezza - FSN (Field Safety Notice)||Italian|
|Spain||Plan de Calidad para el Sistema Nacional de Salud||Spanish|
Food and food products are subject to many regulations in Europe. European food regulations in particular aim at establishing high-quality standards for food and food product hygiene, animal health and welfare, and plant health, and prevent the risk of contamination from external substances.
European food regulations include, among many other things, the following:
You can find more information at the following links:
|Europe||Europa: Food Safety||English|
|Europa: Health and Consumers - Food||English|
|European Food Safety Authority||English|
|United Kingdom||Food Standards Agency||English|
|Germany||FMFA - Food||English|
|BLL - Kennzeichnung||German|
Please note that these customer rights are described for illustrative purposes only and do not constitute any legal advice or substitute for any contractual obligation that you may have agreed upon with Amazon or directly with the customer.
To learn more about rules that apply to international sellers, check out Global Selling International Seller Rules here.
With some exceptions, customers in the European Union and the UK have the right to cancel a purchase of a product bought online within 14 days of receiving the final item of the order, if they bought multiple items together that were delivered separately. Even when there is no error from your side, you must refund the item and the shipping costs. You may not have to refund all costs unless one of the following is true:
For example, you must refund the normal cost of sending the item to the customer but not any extra costs for services that the customer chooses, such as expedited delivery or gift-wrapping. Similarly, when you expressly inform the customer, you don't have to bear the cost of returning the product to you.
Please note that these customer rights are in addition to any contractual return rights that you may have agreed upon with Amazon (for example, 30-day return guarantee) or directly with the customer.
|Europe||The Directive on Consumer Rights||English|
|United Kingdom||UK online and distance selling for business||English|
|France||Loi consommation : e-commerce||French|
|Achat à distance: droit de rétractation du consommateur|
|Italy||Decalogue on consumer rights||Italian|
|Consumer rights information materials|
|Spain||Derechos básicos de los consumidores||Spanish|
Under EU consumer protection rules, the seller of a product must offer a 2-year Legal Warranty when selling in the EU. This means that, during the period of 2 years from the delivery of the product, you must repair, exchange or reimburse a defective product. In most EU countries, any defect that becomes apparent within 6 months from delivery is presumed to have existed at the time of delivery and therefore you must repair, exchange or reimburse it. After 6 months, in most EU countries (France excluded), you can request the customer to prove that the defect already existed at the time of delivery. You can find more information regarding the Legal Warranty in the following link from the European Commission.
This Legal Warranty obligation is in addition to your obligation to process customer returns according to Amazon Return Policy.
|Europe||Sales and Guarantees||English|
|United Kingdom||Accepting returns and giving refunds||English|
|France||Achat à distance: livraison du bien ou exécution de la prestation||French|
|Garantie légale de conformité|
|Italy||Guidelines on legal warranty||Italian|
|Spain||Derechos básicos de los consumidores||Spanish|