The answer to this question is crucial since it can lead to situations of double taxation or non-taxation when the customer is established in the same country as the warehouse owner. It also poses a problem in terms of exchange of intra-Community data.
The Belgian administration is of the opinion that warehousing services, directly linked with the property, whether passive use or not, take place where the property is located. However, in response to difference in interpretation between Member States on this issue, the Belgian administration decided to temporarily accept a localization of such services in the recipient’s country, and that, until the central VAT services, after discussion with other Member States (via the VAT Committee) confirm or modify their views.
Recently, the VAT Committee has published its guidelines on the place of supply of warehousing services (PDF - 694kb). The Member States almost unanimously held that the place of supply depends on the fact whether or not the customer is entitled to the exclusive right of the storage place (or a part of it). If so, the place of supply of these services is the country where the warehouse is located; if not, the place of supply is the recipient’s country.
It remains to be seen whether the Belgian administration will change its point of view in this way. Indeed the guidelines of the VAT committee are not binding.
For more information please contact An De Roest.