As from 1 July 2021, a number of amendments to Directive 2006/112/EC (the VAT Directive) will start to apply affecting the VAT rules applicable to cross-border business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce activities.
The changes are aimed at addressing challenges arising from the VAT regimes for distance sales of goods and for the importation of low value consignments, namely:
- To reduce the administrative burden imposed on EU businesses selling goods online to final consumers located in other Member States when their sales exceed the distance sales threshold;
- To reduce abusive practices resulting from the VAT exemption granted for the import of low value goods;
- To remove the commercial advantage for non-EU businesses selling goods from 3rd countries to consumers in the EU.
The EU have issued Explanatory Notes on VAT e-commerce rules and Importation and exportation of low value consignments – VAT E-Commerce Package – “Guidance for MSs and Trade” to provide further guidance on the implantation of these changes. These changes have been incorporated in the Maltese VAT legislation through the publication of various legal notices.