Simplified customs declaration for low value consignments as from January 2021
The new customs declaration will require three times less data than current forms for imported goods below € 150.
Currently, goods imported into the EU with value under € 22 are exempt from VAT. This simplification is called Low Value Consignment Relief (LVCR). The LVCR will disappear in 2021 because it is often used as a tax loophole by non-EU online sellers. It also jeopardizes competition between domestic and non-EU businesses.
In practice, however, the consequence of cancelling LVCR is that all arrivals into the EU must be declared with a customs declaration. Customs duties are due only when the value of the good exceeds € 150. So the 2021 changes mean that customs declarations will need to be completed even when customs duties are not due.
Last 5 July 2019, the European Commission cleared the path for LVCR abolishment by simplifying customs declaration for imported goods with a value under € 150. These declarations will be submitted electronically for each shipment. Member States should now update their IT systems to allow the new customs declarations by 2021.
These changes were published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 5 July 2019. You can access this publication via the website of the European Union.
2021 changes for online sellers in the EU
The European Commission aims to facilitate and boost online trade in Europe. For VAT purposes, an important simplification was already approved allowing online sellers to register in one single country using a one stop-shop mechanism as from 2021. Such regime is already applicable for online services in the European Union since 2015.
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