Below is a note from the French administration re the changes to the import VAT regime which took effect on 1 January 2022.
Since 1 January 2022, VAT due on imports has to be declared to the Public Finances Directorate General (DGFiP) using a VAT return and no longer to the Directorate General for Customs and Excise (DGDDI) upon clearance.
There are two scenarios if you do not yet have a French Intra-Community VAT number and wish to import goods into France:
- If you are a company based in the European Union (EU) or in certain non-EU countries (refer to the list at www.impots.gouv.fr/portail/immatriculation-la-tva): You should contact the Foreign Business Tax Department (SIEE) at the Non-Residents Tax Directorate (DINR) to apply for registration in France and for a French Intra-Community VAT number.
- In other circumstances (if your company is not based in one of the countries on the above-mentioned list), you must appoint an accredited tax representative: The registration of your company in France and the allocation of a French intra-community VAT number will have to be requested from the local competent Corporate Tax Service (SIE) to which your tax representative already carries out his own reporting obligations.
Whatever your situation, you should carry out these procedures without any delay and, in any case, by 1 March 2022. For further information on the procedures and competent services, you can consult the factsheet on the website « impots.gouv» : www.impots.gouv.fr/portail/immatriculation-la-tva (in French).
Pending receipt of your registration number, and provided you are able to prove that you have initiated the procedures within the specified time limit, you can import goods into France and carry out your customs formalities by entering on the customs declaration, as an exception, the new special mention G0008 «redevable non identifié à la TVA en France» (taxpayer not identified for VAT in France) in order to pay the import VAT to the Customs authority during the permitted transition period.
The transition period during which you will be able to declare the VAT due on your imports using your customs declaration will end no later than 30 June 2022. Subsequently, failure to register will be deemed to be an irregularity in tax returns that could lead to a penalty of 5% of the deductible VAT pursuant to Article 1788 Aof the French General Tax Code.
If you have any questions concerning French VAT numbers or the resulting tax requirements, you or your tax representative should contact the competent tax department, which is either the above-mentioned DINR or the local competent SIE, depending on your specific situation. If you receive this email in your capacity as a representative acting on behalf of foreign businesses, we would ask you to inform all your clients about the registration requirement, which they should comply with as soon as possible.
Thank you for your attention.
The Directorate General for Customs and Excise and The Public Finances Directorate General
The above information was kindly provided by the Chairman of the IVA – Stephen Dale, contact: [email protected].