Germany: Guidance regarding VAT treatment of consignment stock

Simplification measures for supplies of goods in a warehouse for the purpose of being released into the European Union

Simplification measures for supplies of goods in a warehouse

The German Ministry of Finance (BMF) on 10 December 2021 issued guidance regarding implementation of simplification measures for supplies of goods in a warehouse for the purpose of being released into the European Union.

Legislation enacted in December 2019 introduced to § 6b UStG—a simplification provision for supplies of goods in a warehouse with the purpose of being called up in the territory of the Community.

According to statements in the BMF guidance of December 2021, the rules generally apply to all supplies of goods to warehouses in line with § 6b UStG when the transport began on or after 1 January 2020. Shipments that began before 1 January 2020 but only ended in the country of destination after 31 December 2019 (e.g., in 2020) are not subject to the rules. 

KPMG observation

Note that a draft of the BMF guidance included a “non-objection policy”—that is, for transactions conducted before the day of publication of the BMF guidance, no objection will be raised if the parties apply the previously applicable legal position. This provision from the draft version has been omitted in the final BMF guidance.

Read a December 2021 report [PDF 335 KB] prepared by the KPMG member firm in Germany that contrasts the legal requirements against provisions in the BMF guidance of 10 December 2021.

Other recent VAT developments that may affect businesses in Germany include the following items:

  • Government coalition agreement (agreement between the SPD, Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen and FDP)
  • Separation of supply of goods and services in the provision of meals (BFH decision of 26 August 2021, V R 42/20)
  • Proper description of supplies in invoices (BMF guidance of 1 December 2021)
  • Taxation of travel services from companies resident in non-EU countries (BMF guidance of 1 December 2021)
  • Reminder for zero-rating for cross-border carriage of goods: Non-objection provision ends 31 December 2021 (BMF guidance of 14 October 2021)


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