The International Trade in Goods Statistics (ITGS) is based on two data compilation systems: one for extra-EU trade statistics (data relating to trade of goods with non-member countries) and one for intra-EU trade (with data predominantly being collected via the Intrastat reporting). The intra-EU trade statistics cover both the dispatches (Intrastat export declaration) and arrivals of goods (Intrastat import declaration) being exchanged between the Member States of the European Union. In principle, all traders holding trade contracts with foreign partners are obliged to submit an Intrastat declaration.
The new European Regulations on ITGS (regulation (EU) 2019/2152 and the implementing regulation (EU) 2020/1197), finally changing foreign trade statistics reporting, also led to major changes regarding the Intrastat reporting. During the implementation of the new regulations, there were three key changes for the Intrastat declarations with relevance as of the reporting period January 2022.
Modified ‘Nature of Transaction’ (NoT) codes
For all Intrastat declarations a new code list for the NoT shall be applied. The NoT reflects the sum of the characteristics of a transaction to be reported, e.g. sale/purchase, financial lease, etc. and is reported by using a two-digit code.
However, it is required to use the previous lists of NoT codes for declarations pertaining to the year 2021, even if the corresponding declarations are filed during the year 2022, e.g. Intrastat declarations for December 2021 filed in 2022 will still have to be created based on 2021 NoT codes.
‘Country of origin’ information for Intrastat export declarations
The country of origin is the country where the goods have been obtained or produced in full or the country where the goods underwent their last substantial economically-justified processing.
The country of origin has been a compulsory data element for Intrastat import declarations since the inception of the Single Market. Starting from January 2022, reporting units are obliged to report the country of origin also on their Intrastat export declarations, i.e. for shipments to other EU Member States.
VAT Identification number of the trading partner for Intrastat export declarations
Analogously to the country of origin, the VAT ID number of the trading partner in the EU Member State of import has also become a compulsory element for Intrastat export declarations. For declarations as of January 2022, the VAT ID number of the trading partner in the importing Member State must be reported.
The trading party needs to be identified by a staged test and could generally be, e.g. the acquirer (reporting the intra-Community acquisition of the items) or the importer. However, additional complexity may arise with identifying this trading party in the case of chain supplies or so-called triangular transactions.
For the reporting periods as of January 2022, the Intrastat declarations must be submitted following new requirements. Thus, it is no longer possible to consolidate different shipments of goods to another EU Member State, e.g. although supplied to the same trading partner, if the goods are coming from different countries of origin or if such supplies are transacted to different trading partners (different VAT ID numbers).
As a result of these changes, an additional workload may arise for the reporting units, e.g. resulting from evaluation/modification processes and IT systems, inquiries of third parties about missing data, as well as validity checks of the VAT ID numbers. When specifying the VAT ID number of the trading partner, it also appears recommendable to perform crosschecks with the transactions and related data in the preliminary VAT return and in the recapitulative statement (EC sales list).
In the event of missing information or the late submission of Intrastat declarations, the Federal Statistical Office may request an explanation for this omission. Moreover, a failure to provide information is considered a violation of the duty to provide information, which can be punished as an administrative offense based on the German Federal Statistics Act.
Finally, it should be noted that the above indications refer to the modifications and their consequences for the German legal perimeter. However, as the changes are based on EU regulations, similar considerations will have to be applied for Intrastat reporting obligations in other EU Member States.
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