• Carsten Reineke

When is a German VAT Certificate Necessary? - Request by Platforms Correct?

Aktualisiert: 1. Apr 2019


Certificate for Online Sellers in Germany - Request by Platforms Correct?



The new required certificate for online sellers apparently leads to some confusion, e.g. yesterday I had question by a seller that sells cosmetics from the US directly to Germany and had received the request from Ebay to submit the certificate.


In the following I am going to show you, when a certificate is necessary:


Sales via an online platform (Amazon, Ebay, Wish)


Within the scope of German VAT if:


  • Goods sold are located in Germany at the time of the sale (e.g. Amazon FBA warehouse)

  • B2C sales from another EU member state and

- The German distance sales threshold of EUR 100,000 was exceeded in the current or the previous year

- Application of the German distance sales threshold has been waived

  • Goods imported (from non EU countries) into Germany by the seller, i.e. custom duties and import VAT are declared and paid by (or by an agent in the name of ) the seller

In these cases the seller has to provide the certificate as a proof for the VAT registration in Germany to the platform provider.


In all other cases neither a VAT registration nor a certificate is necessary.


The German tax offices will generally deregister foreign sellers after a few month if only nil returns are filed.


A client just forwarded me the following message:

Dear Seller,
Amazon must obtain a Tax Certificate from selling partners that are required to be tax registered in Germany or a formal acknowledgement that they are not generating any taxable sales in Germany, according to the amendments in the German VAT Code (Sec. 22f UStG).
All selling partners should take action now.
Selling partners based outside of the European Economic Area failing to comply will no longer be able to sell on www.amazon.de or to customers in Germany. Selling partners based in a European Economic Area country (including Germany) must take action before October 1, 2019.
How to take action if you are required to be German tax registered:
•	Upload your German Tax Certificate (F22) here: https://sellercentral-europe.amazon.com/tax/registrations?defaultAction=DE-BusinessReg-add
How to take action if you are NOT required to be German tax registered:
•	If you are not obliged to be tax-registered in Germany and therefore not required to obtain a Tax Certificate, you must acknowledge the below declaration confirming that you are not generating taxable sales in Germany: https://sellercentral-europe.amazon.com/gc/amazon-business/tax-settings/tax-certificate-de/tax-declaration 
To learn more about the legislation, see sample images of the correct documents required and review other FAQs, click here: https://sellercentral-europe.amazon.com/gc/amazon-business/tax-settings/tax-certificate-de
Sincerely, 
Amazon Services Europe

If you are not required to register in Germany you can acknowledge the declaration.


The issue was apparently solved:

Hello, 
 
Thank you for submitting your German Tax Certificate or declaration that you are not required to be DE VAT liable. We removed the restrictions on your account.

To learn more about the requirements for Tax Certificate in Germany, click here: https://sellercentral-europe.amazon.com/gc/amazon-business/tax-settings/tax-certificate-de

To learn more about VAT in Europe, click here: https://services.amazon.co.uk/services/fulfilment-by-amazon/vat-resources.html

Need help with VAT registration and filing in Europe? Visit VAT Services on Amazon: https://services.amazon.co.uk/services/vat-services-on-amazon.html

Sincerely, 
Amazon Services Europe S.a.r.l.


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