What counts as a sale to another European Union (EU) country?

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What counts as a sale to another European Union (EU) country?

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If you supply goods to a customer in another EU country who isn’t registered for VAT in that country, and you are responsible for delivery – that is, they don’t collect them – then this is called a ‘distance sale’. The most common examples are mail order or internet sales to private individuals in another EU country. However, if you transfer your own goods to another EU country – whether to another part of your organisation, or simply to put in storage – this is treated as if you had made a supply in this country and an acquisition in the destination country. You may therefore have to account for UK VAT unless you are also registered for VAT in the EU country to which they are sent – in which case they can be zero-rated assuming all the usual conditions are met. You may also have to account for acquisition VAT in that country, and so have to be registered there.

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