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Italian customs and VAT warehouses

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Italian customs and VAT warehouses

VAT warehouse simplification is available in Italy for EU cleared goods (T2). These goods have already paid customs duties. There is no VAT due on goods sold within a VAT warehouse.  However, while goods are in a VAT warehouse, they cannot be sold to a non-taxable person. Once the goods leave the VAT warehouse regime, they will be subject to Italian VAT. This VAT treatment will depend on whether the goods entered the regime as a domestic purchase, in which case VAT must be charged, or they entered the goods as intra-Community acquisitions, in which case the reverse charge applies on the first supply following the VAT warehouse suspension.

The warehouse keeper is jointly and severally liable for the payment of VAT of the first supplier. There is penalty of 30% of the VAT due foreseen on all missed payments related to the VAT warehouse regime.   

The following goods are not allowed to be stored in a VAT warehouse:

  • Non-EU goods, except if the importer provides Customs authorities with a warranty for the amount of the import VAT. This warranty is not requested from Authorized Economic Operators and other taxpayers authorized by the Italian tax authorities.  
  • Temporarily imported goods
  • Goods stored temporarily before receiving a Custom destination
  • Goods imported as part of an inward processing relief

As from 1 April 2017, there are further changes to the list of goods admitted in VAT warehouses. Contact us for more information.

Customs or bonded warehouses are available for goods that have not cleared customs in the EU (T1). VAT and excise duties are not due when these goods are directly placed in the Customs warehouse. As soon as they exit this regime, these amounts are due.

No VAT is due on the supply of goods in a Customs warehouse, but an invoice must be issued stating that the amount is not subject to VAT.

Furthermore, in Italy there are VAT-free zones. Here, goods can be transformed, processed or stored without paying VAT or customs duties.