German VAT confusion


Hi All

I know it’s a boring subject but I queried an email from Amazon saying that all sellers who sell to Germany must be registered for vat

I got this back

Thank you for your email.

All Amazon selling partners fulfilling orders from or to Germany themselves or using Fulfilment by Amazon must obtain and provide Amazon a copy of their German Tax Certificate. According to the amendments in the German VAT Code (“UStG”), online marketplace operators can be held liable for unpaid VAT generated by selling partners trading on the marketplace and fulfilling orders from or to Germany.

In order to avoid such liability, marketplace operators must obtain a Tax Certificate from their selling partners according to the new Sec. 22f UStG which will confirm that selling partners are tax registered in Germany.

Therefore, selling partners need to apply for this Tax Certificate with German tax authorities and submit the certificate to the operator of the marketplace. Selling partners legally-established outside of the European Union not providing a certificate by March 1, 2019 will no longer be able to sell on or to German customers. Similarly, selling partners legally-established inside the European Union not providing a certificate by October 1, 2019 will no longer be able to sell on or to German customers. These dates are formally set out in the legislation.

Let us know if you have any further queries.

But on the amazon FAQ information the relevant section states

My business address is in another EU country but I sell goods to German based customers. Do I need to register for VAT in Germany?

If you store goods in another EU country, sell and move these goods to private individuals based in Germany you will be required to VAT register in Germany if you exceed the German distance selling threshold. Also in case you store goods in another EU country and move your own goods to a storage location in Germany (either by your own means or by way of Amazon) there may be a requirement to register for VAT in Germany.

as I do not store in Germany and stay under the threshold does this mean that Amazon are contradicting themselves by saying I must register?

I have been in touch with the tax office in German who said if it is under the threshold it will be a voluntary registration not a compulsory one

Has anyone else registered because of the notice and if so can you suggest who/ how you went to as an agent

It all seems confusing again




You don’t need to be VAT registered if you don’t meet the criteria [although you could voluntarily do so] but if you don’t register for VAT you need to complete the exemption certificate as per the news posted in seller central for several months.
The above link should show you what you need to do and at the bottom of that page is a link to upload your Tax certificate.