• Service: Tax, Global Indirect Tax, Global Compliance Management Services
  • Type: Regulatory update
  • Date: 5/17/2013

EU - VAT refunds for goods exported outside EU 

May 17: There is a zero (0%) rate of value added tax (VAT)—i.e, the tax on goods and services—for exports of goods outside the European Union.  Application of the 0% rate, however, depends on having possession of a special confirmation from the customs authorities that the goods actually left the customs territory of the EU.

Currently, the confirmation is an electronic notification (IE 599) generated by the export control system. Before this system was launched, a stamped customs declaration card (no. 3) formed the required proof of export.

Exporters repeatedly tend not to receive the documents confirming the export of goods outside the EU—even with the electronic notification system. As a result, exporters must collect VAT on such transactions at the standard VAT rate (for example, the standard VAT rate in Poland of 23%) instead of applying the 0% rate of VAT.

Still, there may be an opportunity to obtain an alternative confirmation of export from the customs authorities, and this may allow exporters to obtain a refund of the VAT paid, for amounts of VAT remitted as far back as 2008.

Read a May 2013 report [PDF 83 KB] prepared by the KPMG member firm in Poland: Possibility of export VAT recovery for the export of goods outside the European Union

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