New Certificate for Online Seller ( 22f Certificate) in Germany
Aktualisiert: 5. Okt 2019
Some platform operators (like Amazon) are demanding a 22f certificate, even if it is not necessary ( see below on when a certificate is actually necessary).
As the platforms have no way to definitely determine if a seller is required to register for VAT in Germany and the German tax authorities issue no certification that a seller is not required to register, the platforms are often asking the certificate from every seller.
A practical solution might be to actually store and sell (maybe a very low) amount of goods, e.g. via Amazon FBA or any other fulfillment operator, in Germany.
Another work around could be to waive the application of the distance sales threshold for Germany in the EU country where the goods are stored and to apply for a VAT registration in Germany. This would result in all goods sold B2C from this EU state to be subject to German VAT.
This would mean that the seller is:
required to register for VAT in Germany
once registered, can receive a certificate
For more information on the certificate please see below:
Platforms (operators of an electronic marketplace / market place operator) such as Amazon or Ebay will be liable for the German VAT of online shops on the platform.
This does not apply, if a certificate from the tax office of the online shop, that the business is registered for VAT in Germany is provided to the platform (§§ 22f and 25e UStG) . The regulation is valid from 01.01.2019 and will be enforced for non EU non EFTA countries from 1 March 2019 on. For all others (German and EU sellers) from 1 October 2019 on.
The certificate must be requested by the online shop from its tax office. With the application for a certificate, the entrepreneur agrees that his data stored for this purpose are passed on to the operator of an electronic marketplace. These can then be accessed electronically by the marketplace operator via the German Federal Tax Office.
The platforms will therefore only accept traders who provide such a certificate.
Please find the link to the official application form here: Link
Entrepreneurs without domicile or habitual residence, registered office or place of management in Germany / the EU or the EEA must, at the latest with the application, designate a receiving agent in Germany ( (§ 123 of the General Tax Code “Abgabenordnung”).
The federal ministry of finance issue guidelines for the new certificates. Link In addition to a lot to information that mainly concerns the market place itself. The guidelines also include some information for the shop owners.
The certificate only certifies that the taxpayer is registered for VAT in Germany. It does not give an indication whether the taxpayer fulfills its VAT obligations (like filing VAT returns and paying VAT on time). Therefore, e.g. the tax office might still ask the marketplace provider (like Amazon or Ebay) to take down the shop, even if the shop operator provided a certificate.
The certificate is not necessary for online shops with no German VAT obligations, e.g.
- direct sales from non EU countries (deliveries from the home country directly to the German customer)
- B2C sales from other EU member states under the distance sales threshold (EUR 100,000) and without having waived the application of the threshold for Germany.
- B2B sales from other EU member states to Germany
The certificate will only be issued, if the trader appoints a German recipient for the correspondence of by the tax office. It is pointed out that the recipient has not to be a person entitled to perform tax advisory services under the German legislation (e.g. a tax advisor, "Steuerberater").