Atlas Impost- off to the post office! How e-commerce and small consignments are handled now

From Janine Lampprecht | 16. March 2022 | Reading time: 4 Minutes

Especially in the area of e-commerce, but also for mail and courier consignments, the submission of an electronic customs declaration has been mandatory since the middle of last year for the import of small consignments from non-EU countries with a value of up to 150 euros. The exemption from import turnover tax for goods with a value of up to 22 euros has also been abolished. This regulation affects many companies because they now have to declare significantly more import shipments than before. Incidentally, this also applies to sample and document consignments.

Since 15 January 2022, you can use the new Atlas Impost application to handle these types of consignments correctly in terms of customs and tax law. We would like to explain to you in our article how exactly the new application works and what you have to bear in mind.

Finally here: Atlas Impost as part of the new Atlas Release

The reason why import declarations have become compulsory for small consignments is quite simply that the contents of these consignments can be better checked for compliance with the standards applicable in the EU. Now the amount of import VAT can also be determined better and more easily via the customs declarations submitted.

The specialist application ATLAS IMPOST was developed precisely for this efficient customs and import VAT handling of small consignments. It is part of the new ATLAS release 10.0 and expands the previous range of functions of ATLAS with the customs declaration type APK (declaration of postal and courier consignments). Here you can also submit the declaration with a reduced data set. This additional option of a “small customs declaration” provides for a reduced data set, the “super reduced data set”. Instead of the 11-digit customs tariff number, which is otherwise required for import declarations, it is sufficient to enter the 6-digit number. You can submit the APK before presentation as an early customs declaration or after presentation as a non-early customs declaration. By submitting the customs declaration with the reduced data set, the declarant declares that the goods are not subject to any prohibitions and restrictions. It is important to note that Atlas Impost cannot be used for goods that are subject to prohibitions and restrictions, for example, in particular if their importation is prohibited or if certain documents (e.g. permits, licences or other import documents) must be presented to the customs office for this purpose. It is therefore always the responsibility of the declarant to check and comply with the relevant legal provisions for the goods to be imported and to determine whether documents must be presented for import clearance.

The requirements and registration for participation in Atlas, as well as the technical requirements and connections, can be found in the leaflet for participants for ATLAS Release 10.0.

The import sales tax – the IOSS tax portal and special arrangement

Following your customs declaration, there are two variants for recording import VAT in the bulk procedure: the EU-wide applicable Import One Stop Shop and, for goods that are only subject to German import VAT, a so-called special arrangement.  The EU-wide applicable Import One Stop Shop (IOSS) is located in Germany at the Federal Central Tax Office. In particular, third-country sellers or representatives acting on their behalf who are resident in the EU can register there for tax purposes. The import declaration is linked to the IOSS registration. Prerequisite: It must be a matter of private end customers. VAT is then calculated directly to the EU buyer at the time of sale and declared to the competent tax authority of the respective member state. Irrespective of residency, platform operators and domestic companies that directly import goods from the third country into the EU and sell them here can also use the IOSS. However, business-to-business deliveries and gift shipments between private individuals are excluded from participation in the IOSS procedure. For many shipments there is the possibility of a so-called “special arrangement”, in which case a monthly collective declaration via the main customs office is possible on the 10th of the following month. We can offer you our support in this regard. For the special arrangement, the EUSt must be paid upon delivery of the goods to the customs declarant or the person who presented the goods. The EUSt collected within one month is paid collectively to the customs administration by the person presenting the goods until the due date of the deferred payment.

Another change in the lump sum payment of import duties NEE (subsequent collection, refund or remission) is that these can now also be automated, checked and calculated by ATLAS. For this purpose, the new data group “Information on lump sum payment” was introduced.

Other planned procedures for the customs declaration

For companies that do not want to or are not able to use the participant procedure, it will probably be possible to enter the new customs declaration type IPK (internet declaration for postal and courier consignments with a value of up to 150 euros) via an internet platform in the course of this year. This will then be accessible via the Citizen and Business Customer Portal. Until this portal is launched, consumers can submit customs declarations using the previous procedure. According to Customs, the procedures will not change, especially for private individuals who receive small consignments from third countries and want to declare them themselves at the competent customs office. We can also offer our support in this regard. Just take a look at our website https://www.payduty.com/, where you can easily declare your goods yourself.

Do you need advice on the subject of ATLAS IMPOST or on how to pay customs duty correctly? Then contact us directly for a discussion. We will be happy to help and support you!

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