European Union – ECOFIN publishes draft conclusions on improvements to current EU VAT rules for cross-border transactions

On 7 October 2016, the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) published a draft document that contains the conclusions adopted on how the current VAT rules applicable to cross-border supplies of goods can be improved. The publishing of the draft document followed the adoption of a set of conclusions by the ECOFIN on 25 May 2016 (see European Union-2, News 30 May 2016), which was initiated in response to the VAT Action plan (see European Union-2, News 7 April 2016).

In the draft document, the ECOFIN recalls the need to achieve more harmonization of the VAT rules governing cross-border transactions and notes that this can be achieved by making legislative proposals in selected areas. This should be done within the work on the definitive VAT system. In this context, the ECOFIN has chosen four specific areas for improvement:

VAT identification number and VIES (VAT Information Exchange System) data;
chain transactions;
call-off stock; and
proof of intra-EU supplies.

The document is available here.


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