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UK and EU VAT FAQ: Your Questions Answered

Starting July 1, 2021, Discogs is responsible for the collection of UK and EU supply of goods VAT up to the low-value goods threshold of £135 or €150 respectively. To ensure Discogs, as well as buyers and sellers around the world, meet the requirements around new VAT regulations, we introduced a series of measures to ensure supply of goods VAT is calculated, charged, collected, and remitted as appropriate on all orders imported to the United Kingdom and the European Union.

With this FAQ, we hope to provide more information and context around how the UK and EU supply of goods VAT requirements fit with buying and selling on Discogs. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and questions; we’ll provide answers to more as we see and receive them.

IOSS (Import One-Stop-Shop)


What is IOSS?

IOSS stands for Import One-Stop-Shop. It’s a system designed to allow goods imported into the EU from outside the EU to pass through customs more efficiently and to ensure that, where appropriate, marketplace facilitators like Discogs, are properly charging, collecting, reporting, and remitting supply of goods VAT in the EU.

Discogs’ IOSS number appears at the top-right of our commercial receipt. The commercial receipt including our IOSS number demonstrates to customs officials that Discogs is properly registered to charge, collect, report and remit supply of goods VAT on behalf of our sellers and buyers.

Does Discogs provide the IOSS number, or does the seller? Or both?

Discogs, as an EU marketplace facilitator, is responsible for charging, collecting, reporting on, and remitting supply of goods VAT via our IOSS number, which is IM5280008075. You will find Discogs’ IOSS number on our commercial receipt.

Individual Discogs sellers are not required to register for or provide an IOSS number. Sellers must ensure a commercial receipt is appropriately attached to all shipments made to buyers outside their home country as our commercial receipt includes all Discogs VAT and GST registration numbers in addition to HS codes on each order item. The commercial receipt will help speed orders through customs in all countries.

As a buyer, where can I see Discogs’ IOSS number and the supply of goods VAT collected on my order?

The commercial receipt can be accessed by buyer or seller by clicking ‘Print’ at the top of the order page. Where applicable, the supply of goods VAT amount collected on the order is itemized along with the order subtotal and shipping costs, above the order total. Discogs’ IOSS number, along with all Discogs VAT and GST registration numbers, are also available at the top-right of the commercial receipt.

Commercial Receipt


What is the commercial receipt?

The worldwide standard for shipping goods outside of a seller’s home country is to attach a commercial receipt or invoice to the outside of each package. The commercial receipt or invoice details the amount of VAT and GST charged on the order and includes harmonized tariff codes for each item included in the order. Essentially, the commercial receipt or invoice provides customs officers with necessary information about the shipment in order to speed customs clearance and delivery of your buyer’s orders.

Why is the commercial receipt important?

The commercial receipt provides customs officials with the necessary information for them to determine that VAT and GST have been appropriately charged by Discogs on behalf of sellers and buyers and provides harmonized tariff codes for each item ensuring the correct import duties, if any, are assessed by customs. 

Sellers must attach the commercial receipt to the outside of all Discogs orders shipped outside of the seller’s home country. The commercial receipt must be visible to customs officials in order for your buyer’s orders to clear customs as quickly as possible.

What is a HS0 or HST code?

HS or HST code is short for Harmonized System or Harmonized Tariff Schedule. Harmonized tariff codes are a list of numbers used by customs officials worldwide to classify internationally traded goods for the application of import duties and taxes. The Harmonized Tariff System was developed by the World Customs Organization. You can find a full definition of the Harmonized System on Wikipedia.

HS Codes are provided for each item in your orders. You can find the HS Codes applicable to your orders on your Discogs commercial receipt.

As a seller, can I use my own invoice or receipt instead of Discogs’ commercial receipt?

Commercial invoice requirements are tricky, especially when supply of goods VAT and GST are involved. We recommend that all sellers use Discogs’ commercial receipt and attach it to the outside of each package. This is especially important when shipping goods to the EU, and UK, Australia, and New Zealand as these are regions where supply of goods VAT and GST are Discogs’ responsibility. The presence of a commercial receipt on each package will ensure your buyer is not double charged for VAT or GST. This is the only way we can ensure the correct information is included when the order goes through customs. Discogs is responsible for ensuring the correct amount of VAT is charged and for indicating it has been paid by the buyer if the order plus shipping is equal to or less than the low-value goods thresholds.

As a seller, you may wish to enclose your own invoice inside the shipment. However, for the reasons detailed above, Discogs’ commercial receipt should be prominently affixed to the outside of the package so customs officials can easily find it.

What is the size of the commercial receipt?

On a 45 or CD package, there may not be enough space to fit anything more than a sticker-sized indicator. The size of the commercial receipt may depend on your printer settings. For smaller packages, like those containing 45s or CDs, folding the commercial receipt and placing it in a smaller envelope is an option.

ParcelMonkey recommends using a “documents enclosed” pouch designed for this purpose. You could also use a clear plastic wallet or envelope as long as it’s taped securely so the commercial receipt doesn’t move in transit.

Supply of Goods VAT Collection


As a Seller, how can I ensure Supply of Goods VAT is properly collected at the time of order payment?

As a seller, you’re not required to do anything different for orders where the buyer is located in countries with supply of goods VAT or GST such as the EU, UK, Australia, or New Zealand than you would for any other country around the world.

Where applicable, Discogs automatically calculates and adds VAT and GST amounts to orders based on the rules applicable to the buyer’s shipping location. Discogs also files VAT and GST returns in each region or country and remits the VAT and GST collected on a monthly or quarterly basis as required by each taxing jurisdiction.

How do I ensure supply of goods VAT is not charged again at the border or elsewhere?

The only way to ensure VAT or GST is not charged again at the border or elsewhere is to attach our commercial receipt to the outside of every order you ship outside your home country. Our commercial receipt proves that VAT or GST has been appropriately charged and collected from the buyer by Discogs.

How is UK and EU supply of goods VAT charged if the order total (item amount plus shipping amount) is above the low-value supply of goods VAT threshold of £135 or €150, respectively?

If the order total (item amount plus shipping amount) is above the UK threshold of £135 or the EU threshold of €150, the commercial receipt will clearly show that Discogs has not charged VAT. Supply of goods VAT will then be collected directly from the buyer by customs officials at import. Therefore, it is critical that a commercial receipt is attached to the outside of every order shipped outside a seller’s home country.

When an order is above the £135 or €150 threshold, will the buyer be notified by Discogs that supply of goods VAT will need to be paid on the landed item?

There is no messaging to let buyers know they are responsible for supply of goods VAT upon import when the low-value goods thresholds have been exceeded. Buyers and sellers should be aware of the VAT and GST laws in their respective locations.

As a seller who is not located in the UK or EU, should I have a VAT ID in order to ship goods to buyers in the UK and EU?

Sellers located outside of the UK or EU do not need a VAT ID in order to ship goods to buyers located in the UK and EU. Discogs is responsible for supply of goods VAT on orders up to the £135 or €150 thresholds in the UK and EU, respectively. Buyers are directly responsible for supply of goods VAT above those thresholds.

How should the seller handle multiple paid orders from a single buyer which exceed the £135 or €150 low-value good threshold?

Supply of goods VAT thresholds apply to single orders shipped in a single carton or multiple cartons when the cartons are marked to indicate they all belong to the same order. For example, sellers might mark multiple cartons for a single order as 1 of 3, 2 of 3 and 3 of 3. 

Because the low-value thresholds apply to single orders this means sellers must merge any orders they intend to ship to a buyer in a single carton or multiple cartons as noted above. VAT will not calculate and be charged to the buyer correctly if a seller attempts to combine multiple orders in a single shipment without first merging them.

I’m selling only second-hand items. Hasn’t tax already been paid on these items when they were first bought?

Supply of goods VAT is an import tax that applies to all goods, whether new or used, crossing the border into the UK or the EU. 

There are other types of VAT that may be applied to goods supplied to buyers by sellers who are also resident to the buyer’s shipping country. These other types of VAT are the responsibility of the seller and are not charged through Discogs.

Is Switzerland included in Discogs’ supply of goods VAT collection?

Switzerland is not part of the EU and, as such, does not participate in the EU VAT scheme for supply of goods or seller fees (electronic service fees). As a result, Discogs does not currently have responsibility for VAT in Switzerland.

Other


Do I risk getting negative feedback if a buyer gets upset that I won’t mislabel a parcel to avoid customs fees?

Any unfairly negative feedback for sellers following VAT requirements will be eligible for review and removal by our review team.

Is any personally identifiable information included when Discogs remits VAT?

We submit the minimum data required for supply of goods VAT returns. Buyers’ and sellers’ VAT numbers are included, as well as more abstract information like order numbers, items, value, and shipping information but not names or other personally identifiable information.


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