French DEB return replaced by Intrastat and ECSL returns starting 2022

DEB returns replaced by statistical return Intrastat and ECSL return, in line with most EU countries’ approach.

French DEB return (Declaration des Echanges de Biens) evolves into 2 new declarative obligations as from reporting period January 2022: Intrastat (l’enquête statistique) and European Community Sales Listing (l’état récapitulatif des livraisons de biens intra-UE, also known as ECSL return).

Until now, France integrated both obligations Intrastat and ECSL within DEB return, including detailed DEB submission when the EU sales exceeds the 460,000 EUR threshold. This implies that old DEB returns included:

  • Statistical purpose concerning the flow of dispatches and arrivals.
  • Tax approach concerning the EU sales made within the EU.

Starting 2022, France will follow common approach in the EU countries implementing the 2 obligations in 2 different returns.

This is done in in line with the changes in EU Directive (UE) 2019/2152 concerning European business statistics (EBS Directive).

French Intrastat returns 2022 in France

In principle, companies will receive a letter during the month of December 2021 (“lettre avis”) confirming they will be eligible to submit Intrastat returns (déclaration d’enquête statistique) as from January 2022. It is expected that companies filing DEB returns will continue filing Intrastat in 2022.

Find below some main characteristics of this return:

  • In general, companies must not proceed with spontaneous submission of Intrastat returns. Informative letters will be sent to companies at their seat address informing they must start submitting Intrastat returns.
  • The threshold for submitting the new French Intrastat returns is 460,000 EUR / year, both for arrivals and dispatches.
  • In case no Intra-Community activity was performed during a given reporting period, a nil Intrastat return must be submitted.
  • In principle, the same deadlines and frequency if filing will apply as for DEB returns: Intrastat will be due by the 10th working day of the following month, and on a monthly basis. We wait for Customs authority to publish the calendar for 2022.

The service competent for Intrastat are the Customs authorities, the DGDDI (Direction générale des douanes et droits indirects).

Updates and content of French Intrastat in 2022

French Intrastat will be updated in comparison with current DEB return to include field country of origin of the goods (pays d’origine) and field EU VAT number of the customer (numéro TVA d’identification du client) – not required for distance sales. Also, code of transaction (code nature transaction) will be modified.

Concerning the new codification for the field Code nature de transaction – transaction code, as from 2022, it will be implemented as follows:

  • Transaction codes 11 and 12, concerning transactions where there is a change of ownership upon the payment of a price. It is expected the subdivision of this category between code 11 – purchase/ sale closed, except for transactions with private individuals, and code 12 – corresponding to direct transactions made with / by private individuals, including distance sales.
  • Transaction codes 31 to 34: these refer to transactions with an expected change of ownership – before under transaction code 1, or a change of ownership without a price – before under transaction code 30. Several new categories are introduced: 31 - movements of stock between warehouses made between companies of the same group, or to a distribution center, 32 – delivery for sight or trial sale, for consignment or with the intermediary of a commission agent, 33 – financial leasing, 34 – transactions with change of ownership but without a price in exchange (this includes barter).
  • Transaction codes 71 and 72: flows relating to quasi-transit.

In summary, French Intrastat returns will contain the following information:

  • Commodity code of the product – combine nomenclature (NC8 or NGP for certain goods). There are also updates on these codes starting 2022.
  • Country of arrival – for dispatch flow, or country of destination – for arrivals flow.
  • Value in Euros.
  • Regime of transaction (11 and 19 for arrivals flow, 21 and 29 for dispatch flow).
  • Net mass (kg).
  • Supplementary units.
  • Nature of transaction.
  • Mode of transport.
  • Department arrival / dispatch in France.
  • Country of origin of the goods (for both flows).
  • EU VAT number of the customer (dispatch flow for the regime 21 and for certain transactions under regime 29). Apart from most regime 29 transactions, this field is not required when the goods are sent to companies not registered for VAT – ex. private customers in distance sales.

French ECSL returns 2022

French ECSL returns (or état récapitulatif TVA) are introduced in 2022 to report the Intra-Community Supplies made from France to other EU countries.

These are the main characteristics of French ECSL:

  • Companies must submit an ECSL return since the first Intra-Community Supply made from France, without attending previous request from the tax authorities.
  • In case no transactions are performed in a reporting period, the ECSL return will be not due.
  • Pre-filled ECSL returns will be available for those taxpayers that previously submitted the Intrastat return for the same period.
  • Similarly to Intrastat, these returns are in principle due on a monthly basis.
  • ECSL returns will include the follow information: value in Euros, type of regime (only 10, 20, 21, 25, 26, 31), EU VAT number of the customer.
  • First reporting period to be submitted is January 2022, which will be due in February 2022. We wait for more information to be published by the tax authorities concerning the tax calendar and deadlines for the submission of the French ECSL returns as from 2022.

The service competent for ECSL are the Tax Authorities, the DGFiP (Direction générale des  Finances publiques).

Do you need help?

Contact Marosa if you need assistance with your VAT compliance obligations in France. We will be pleased to help you! 

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