IOSS number – should I use my own or “borrow” one?

Unless you are selling via an actual marketplace such as Amazon or eBay, you are not compliant unless you use your own IOSS number. Logistics or other companies in the delivery chain are not, by definition, facilitating sales as the regulation presumes. 

The purposeful misinterpretation has been overlooked by EU – for now. As it is explicitly prohibited in the regulation, the practice will be targeted by tax administrations. 

The reason why it is expressly prohibited is that it creates a number of problems with utilising the wrong party IOSS numbers. From the customs point of view, the data becomes both unreliable and opaque for their purposes. Once the actual seller is behind an obscure, unrelated party, it becomes difficult or nearly impossible to know the seller, the actual origin of the goods or the actual party with product liability. 

The actual problem with IOSS number

For the seller, the problem is that they do not know whose IOSS number is being used or whether they have complied with the regulation in the past. IOSS number misuse is rampant and goods sold can be imported with a misused IOSS number, which makes sure you will face an audit.  

Another problem with an opaque system is that the seller does not know who the VAT you paid goes to and how they account for reporting. What they actually report and pay can be different from what data the seller has provided. Again, it is certain that there will be audits. 

What we see is that finding shortcuts with compliance will result in more stress, more work, and unnecessary costs. The described shortcut really cuts nothing from the workload or costs. 

What solutions are there to get a proper IOSS number?

With EAS Compliance Solutions tool, at the cost of EAS Compliance Solutions, there really is no excuse not to handle compliance as it should. 

Picture of Teemu Konttinen

Teemu Konttinen

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

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