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Digital Single Market Event - 11 JUN 2019

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Rule of Law central to making single market and Europe’s economy work

Commissioner Reynders has issued the Commission’s second Rule of Law report.  EuroCommerce Director-General Christian Verschueren underlined the importance to Europe’s economy of EU rules and values being observed in all member states:

“All societies rely on the law being applied equally and fairly, and business can only function properly within a predictable and effective legal framework.  In removing this cornerstone on which the single market and Europe’s institutions are built, countries are undermining the very basis of the EU. They also – short-sightedly - hamper the ability of businesses such as retail and wholesale to invest, create jobs and operate to serve consumers.  This is why we strongly support Commissioner Reynders in ensuring that Europe and its citizens can expect all counties to respect the rules-based system which the EU has established, and call upon the Commission to take the action urgently needed to enforce those rules.”

Our sector has felt directly the harmful effects of lack of respect of the rule of law, particularly, but not exclusively, in Central and Eastern Europe.  Retailers and wholesalers in these countries face arbitrary administrative and legislative action, often by decree sidestepping normal parliamentary procedures, with no proper access to national decision-makers and often judicial systems unable to function efficiently and independently to provide proper redress.

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Single Market for Services remains a top priority for retail and wholesale

The digital revolution is forcing fundamental change to the retail and wholesale sector. It depends on free movement of goods and services around Europe and the world, and therefore shares with the whole EU economy the imperative of resisting populist pressure to break up the Single Market.

As a contribution to the ongoing debate on how to develop a competitive Europe, EuroCommerce has launched its paper ‘Making the Single Market a fairer, sustainable and globally competitive space’, setting out the retail and wholesale sector’s ideas for the next Commission on how to strengthen and deepen the Single Market and stimulate economic growth and jobs.

These ideas were echoed in a keynote address by Director-General Christian Verschueren at the High-Level Conference on Retail organised by the European Commission last week.

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Single VAT ID Registration: Towards a Unified VAT Solution

Joint Paper with Ecommerce Europe

The need for a Single VAT ID

Introduced on 1 July 2021, the VAT One-Stop Shop (OSS) has greatly simplified VAT compliance for businesses, especially for SMEs seeking to trade across the EU, as it allows businesses to register for VAT, file VAT returns and pay for the VAT due in multiple EU countries, via just one EU country. This is a fundamental and concrete simplification of what businesses have always found a complex VAT system.

However, the OSS can only be used for sales of goods or services to final consumers (B2C) by EU businesses selling cross-border within the EU. It does not apply to those traders that store and fulfil stock locally across the EU. This means that, despite the changes introduced by the VAT E-commerce Package, these businesses still have to register for VAT in every Member State in which they store goods, and file VAT returns, costing €8.000 every year for each EU country of storage.

We therefore see the need for an extension of the VAT One Stop Shop, allowing all businesses to report all EU supplies and inventory movements in a single VAT return, and removing the unnecessary VAT compliance burden.

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Single Market Barriers Overview

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