IOSS Registration & Intermediary | Q&A

Here are the most common questions about the IOSS.
If you have more questions about IOSS registration, IOSS intermediary services, IOSS reporting, filing or eCommerce connection, we are here for you!

Questions

All information about Import One-stop shop (IOSS), EU VAT and IOSS registration

1. How do I register for IOSS?

Any registered business can register for the IOSS through an EU-based IOSS intermediary. Businesses in the EU can register for the IOSS directly, or through an IOSS intermediary.
 
The most talked about EU VAT scheme is by far the IOSS. The IOSS allows for a simplified customs process and collection of VAT at the time of sale for goods delivered from outside of the EU. 
 
The IOSS registration process depends on whether your company is registered in the EU or not. For an EU company it is a very straightforward process: go to your national tax administration online portal (yes, they all have it), login in, and find the place to register for the IOSS. Should take less than 10 minutes. In digitally advanced countries you will receive the IOSS number immediately, in some by mail. 
 
For a non-EU company, the process looks very different. They will need an Intermediary to handle the IOSS registration. The IOSS number is as much the Intermediary’s as it is the online merchant’s as they are also responsible for the reporting and payment of VAT. This is also why most charge a hefty starting fee for the service. For non-EU companies, the registration country can be chosen by the Intermediary. 
 
Mind you, you have to really be mindful about who and where you disclose the IOSS number: misuse is rampant and can result in you being responsible for someone else’s VAT. And once you register for the IOSS, also zero reports have to be filed. 
 
Because we at EAS believe in automating the difficult, we don’t have to charge you for the IOSS registration or monthly filing. The shipments have to all go through our SaaS for full, credible compliance. Shipments can also be manually entered into the SaaS if they are placed by phone or email. This results in a stress-free, cost-efficient way to handle the scary international compliance. 
 

2. What does IOSS registered mean?

Being IOSS registered means the company can utilise the lighter customs process in EU customs and collect VAT at checkout. It also means a liability to report and pay VAT monthly to the country of registration. 
 
IOSS number tells the customs that there is a VAT liable company somewhere and that they don’t have to collect VAT on the shipment as it will be reported and paid.
 
It is basically a facilitator for a faster, more cost-efficient delivery and better customer service via single action purchase. 
 

3. How much does IOSS registration cost?

With EAS, the IOSS registration is free. You only pay 1,25€ per EU order. The transaction fee includes the IOSS registration, IOSS intermediary service, eCommerce plugin, VAT calculation, IOSS reporting, and filing.
 
If you are an EU company, you can do it yourself at no cost. You do have to generate the reports/data for the monthly filing even then so there is some cost to it. 
 
The quality of the registration is measured as either it is or it is not. The services provided can include anything from actually getting things done to doing nothing. The more automation there is the cheaper it is for you. We believe that the price is not a reflection of the quality of service. 
 

4. Is IOSS number the same as VAT number?

No, the IOSS number is not the same as VAT number. The IOSS allows suppliers selling imported goods to buyers in the EU to collect, declare and pay the VAT to the tax authorities, instead of making the buyer pay the VAT at the moment the goods are imported into the EU
 
IOSS is a unique number impossible to deduct from any other identifier due to its exposure to risks. 
 

5. Is IOSS compulsory?

No, IOSS is not obligatory. 
 
We do recommend it, however, if your goods fall under the 150€ threshold. Nothing wrong with faster and cheaper delivery and an easier shopping experience for customers. 

6. What happens if I don’t register for IOSS?

If you don’t register for IOSS, your customers pay the VAT at the moment the goods are imported into the EU. It causes delays at customs, unexpected handling fees and an unpleasant customer experience.
If you are not registered for IOSS, you cannot take advantage of the simplified IOSS scheme. 
 
Your deliveries cost more, take longer time and can require post-purchase actions from your customers. 
 

7. What are the benefits of IOSS?

  • Better customer experience
  • VAT can be charged at checkout, not at arrival
  • Lower delivery fees
  • Faster deliveries
  • Postal delivery possible
  • No post-purchase actions are required from your customers

8. Does IOSS include shipping costs?

IOSS does not include shipping costs. 
 
IOSS 150€ threshold is calculated from the zero VAT without shipping or other fees.

9. Do I need to be VAT registered to sell in EU?

No, you don’t need VAT registration to sell to the EU.
 
If you are located outside of the EU, IOSS registration is highly recommended. VAT registration is not required for IOSS registration.
 
You have to have a company registered in your country, also a sole entrepreneur or similar is sufficient. 
 
As a non-EU company you can, have a VAT registration in the EU, but before you begin stocking goods in the EU you are not obligated to do so. 

10. Can I have IOSS registration in UK?

After Brexit, no you can’t.

11. How do I register for IOSS in UK?

You cannot register for IOSS in the UK, you register for IOSS in an EU country
Remember Brexit? 
 
Talk to EAS. We have hundreds of companies from the UK registered for IOSS. 

12. What is an IOSS intermediary?

IOSS intermediary acts on behalf of its clients in order to perform all reports and VAT payments to the EU tax authorities.
If businesses are not based in the EU, they need to appoint an EU-established intermediary to fulfil their VAT obligations under IOSS.
 

13. What to concern about IOSS number?

If you get a random IOSS number from the internet, you will be able to get the goods through the customs and someone else VAT liable – until your tax fraud will be caught and you will be banned from selling to EU. The EU customs collect data on IOSS numbers and tax administrations and then compare the IOSS reporting data.  
 
“Borrowing” IOSS number is also common while being specifically forbidden. The process goes as follows: A party along the delivery chain has registered themselves for IOSS. They insert the IOSS number into the shipping data and collect VAT due from the merchant. The reason why this is specifically forbidden is that the value data is falsified more often than not. In addition, seller data is wrong and does not serve the purpose. A very temporary solution and more expensive than actually being compliant with EAS.
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Teemu Konttinen

Teemu Konttinen

MA in Design Management. Market focused strategist with bids eye view.

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