Understanding IOSS: Simplifying VAT for Cross-Border E-commerce in the EU


In a bid to streamline VAT (Value Added Tax) collection for cross-border e-commerce transactions within the European Union (EU), the Import One-Stop Shop (IOSS) was introduced on July 1, 2021. This innovative system has brought about significant changes in how businesses manage VAT obligations when selling goods to EU consumers. Let’s delve into what IOSS entails and how it’s reshaping the landscape of international online sales. 

What is IOSS? 

IOSS is essentially a simplified VAT collection mechanism designed to facilitate the process for businesses selling goods to EU consumers from outside the EU. Prior to its introduction, businesses were required to register for VAT in each EU member state where they sold goods, leading to complex administrative burdens and compliance issues, especially for smaller enterprises. 

Under IOSS, businesses can register for a single VAT identification number (IOSS number) in one EU member state. This enables them to collect, report, and remit VAT on eligible transactions for all EU member states where their goods are sold. Essentially, it allows businesses to fulfill their VAT obligations through a single electronic portal, significantly reducing administrative complexities. 

Key Features and Benefits 

Simplified VAT Compliance: IOSS simplifies VAT compliance by consolidating the process into a single registration and reporting mechanism. This saves businesses valuable time and resources that would otherwise be spent navigating varying VAT regulations across multiple EU jurisdictions. 

Cost Savings: By eliminating the need to register for VAT in each EU member state, businesses can reduce administrative costs associated with compliance. This is particularly beneficial for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) looking to expand their cross-border e-commerce operations. 

Enhanced Customer Experience: With IOSS, customers benefit from a smoother purchasing process, as VAT is collected upfront at the point of sale. This helps prevent unexpected charges upon delivery and contributes to a more transparent and seamless shopping experience. 

Reduced Risk of Non-Compliance: IOSS helps mitigate the risk of non-compliance by providing a standardised framework for VAT collection and reporting. Businesses can avoid potential penalties and legal issues associated with incorrect VAT declarations or late payments. 

Options for Sending from GB to the EU 

IOSS Self-Registration: The UK seller can independently register for VAT through a third party, collects VAT and completes monthly tax returns.  

Selling via a Marketplace: If you are selling through a marketplace like Amazon, eBay, Etsy and NotOnTheHighStreet, they have probably already registered for IOSS. In that case, you simply need to ensure that you include their IOSS number, along with all the standard customs data, in the pre-advice for the items sold through that marketplace.  

Assisted IOSS Solutions: The UK seller can use a trusted partner for either
A) assisting with registration and tax return completion.
B) handling EU VAT compliance entirely on behalf of the seller.

This simplifies the process of collecting and remitting VAT on B2C items valued up to €150.

New Regulations and Compliance Requirements 

While IOSS offers numerous advantages, businesses must adhere to certain regulations and compliance requirements to leverage its benefits effectively. Some key considerations include: 

Registration: Businesses selling goods to EU consumers with a value not exceeding €150 per consignment can opt to register for IOSS. Upon registration, they receive an IOSS number, which must be included on customs declarations and shipping documentation. 

VAT Collection and Reporting: VAT must be collected at the point of sale and declared and remitted to the appropriate tax authorities via the IOSS electronic portal. Detailed records of transactions must be maintained for auditing purposes. 

Goods Eligibility: Only goods imported into the EU with a value not exceeding €150 are eligible for IOSS. Items such as alcohol, tobacco, and certain excise goods (energy products) are excluded from IOSS and may be subject to alternative VAT arrangements. 

Compliance Monitoring: Tax authorities closely monitor compliance with IOSS regulations to ensure accurate VAT reporting and payment. Businesses should stay informed about any updates or changes to IOSS requirements to maintain compliance. 

Next Steps:  

IOSS Registration: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/register-for-the-vat-import-one-stop-shop-scheme 

Up-to-date Info: https://vat-one-stop-shop.ec.europa.eu/index_en 


IOSS represents a significant step forward in simplifying VAT collection for cross-border e-commerce within the EU. By providing businesses with a centralised mechanism to fulfill their VAT obligations, IOSS promotes efficiency, transparency, and compliance in the digital marketplace. As e-commerce continues to thrive globally, understanding and leveraging IOSS can empower businesses to navigate the complexities of international trade successfully while providing consumers with a seamless shopping experience. 

The Intricacies of Importing Goods

When it comes to global trade, importing goods is an integral component that fuels businesses and economies around the world. Whether it’s to secure raw materials, take advantage of cost differentials, or gain access to unique products, the import process is an imperative one for companies that wish to remain competitive and innovative. That said, the journey of goods from one country to another involves an enormous web of complexities, from navigating legalities to the logistics. Navigating these hurdles is essential if companies are to remain efficient, profitable and in the game.

Navigating the Complex World of Importing: Insights and Solutions from ITD Global

Our recent LinkedIn poll revealed the top concerns businesses have when navigating the world of importing; customs, managing rising costs, product integrity, and tracking deliveries. At ITD Global, we ensure our clients are empowered to take on these challenges, offering support and solutions that make importing your goods even more manageable. 

Navigating Customs

Customs can be a confusing aspect of the import process due to the myriad of regulations and paperwork required. At ITD Global we simplify this process for you, offering expert advice and streamlined procedures that ensure compliance and efficiency. Our experienced team stays abreast of the latest customs regulations, helping you avoid delays and penalties while ensuring a smooth clearance process. 

Rising Costs

Increasing concerns over the cost of shipping are being felt throughout the business world. ITD Global meets this challenge by offering competitive pricing and innovative solutions that optimise our close relationships with multiple Shipping Lines and shipping couriers. Our strategic approach and global network enable us to provide cost-effective solutions without compromising on service quality, helping you manage and predict expenses more accurately. 


Ensuring Goods Arrive Intact

The safety and well being of your imports is our highest priority.  Which is why we only partner with premium, reputable, carriers to ensure your goods reach their destination in the condition they were in when they left.

Tracking Your Deliveries

In today’s fast-paced and constantly evolving markets, staying informed about the status of your deliveries is critical. ITD Global offers advanced tracking technologies to provide real-time visibility into your shipment’s journey. Our intuitive platform allows you to monitor your goods at every stage, enabling better planning, enhanced communication, and peace of mind. 

At the end of the day…

Mastering the intricacies of importing goods is crucial for thriving in the competitive world of global trade. At ITD Global, our mission is bigger than providing logistical solutions. We seek to act as your trusted guide and partner, leading you through the complex maze of international commerce. Our know-how, technology, and customer-focused approach are at the core of our strategy to address the layered challenges you face when importing goods. 

We get it: Every business is unique in terms of what it needs to succeed. That’s why our team is committed to delivering personalised solutions and support, ensuring we are perfectly aligned with your specific objectives and requirements. Whether you’re grappling with customs compliance, budget constraints, product safety, or delivery tracking. ITD Global is equipped with the knowledge, resources and innovation to guide you toward success.

Your success is our success, and we are committed to fostering a collaborative relationship that propels your business forward.  The world of importing goods is fraught with challenges, but with ITD Global by your side, you have a partner who is as invested in your success as you are.

Bladed & Corrosive Legislation Changes

Bladed & Corrosive Legislation Changes

Important new rules impacting how bladed and corrosive products are allowed to be sold and delivered to UK recipients.

As you may know, the Offensive Weapons Act 2019 comes into force from 6 April 2022 (TBC) and includes a number of measures to tackle serious violence.

The key areas that affect you as a UPS customer are about ensuring bladed products (i.e. knives) and corrosive products are only sold and delivered to adults aged 18 and over:

Bladed products

  •   It is forbidden to sell and deliver bladed products to someone at a residential address without verifying that they are over 18 years of age

Corrosive products

It is forbidden to deliver corrosive products to a person of any age via a residential addresses or alternative delivery location (e.g. a UPS Access Point)

It is forbidden to sell and deliver corrosive products to a person at a business address without verifying that they are over 18 years of age

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Get familiar with the new legislation and definitions

The guidance for the offensive weapons legislation can be found on gov.uk.

  1. Clearly label your parcels

All domestic and international parcels containing a bladed product that requires age verification (see below) must be clearly labelled.

Additionally, when placing your shipment please use the description field of your UPS shipping application to state the contents of the package.

  1. Use our “Adult Signature Required” service

You must select the value-added UPS service “Adult Signature Required” in the cases highlighted below. We will then obtain the adult recipient’s signature and provide you with a printed copy.

This table outlines the instances where an adult signature is or is not required, or if the delivery itself is not allowed:

Bladed Products Corrosive Products
Residential Delivery Business Delivery Residential Delivery Business Delivery
International Parcels delivered in the UK