Procedure for VAT exemption for the delivery of goods
(Ministerial Circular POL 1167/2013)
In accordance with Article 788 of Regulation (EEC) No 2454/93 laying down the provisions for the implementation of the Community Customs Code, the ‘exporter’ shall be considered to be the person on whose behalf the export declaration is made and who is the owner of the goods or has a similar right of disposal over them at the time when the declaration is accepted.
The aforementioned “similar right of disposal over the goods” and consequently the completion of export formalities can be exercised and carried out by the seller established in Greece, provided there is sufficient evidence (contract, written order, agreement, etc.) that the buyer of the goods, who is established in another Member State, has transferred to the seller the right of disposal over these goods for the purpose of their direct export, without however transferring ownership of said goods. In this case, the export formalities are carried out by the seller and non-owner of the goods established in Greece, who has the same responsibilities as the exporter and owner of the goods. The buyer of the goods established in another Member State, who has transferred the right of disposal over them to the seller established in Greece, must provide the latter with all the data and information required in order to complete the export formalities.
It should be pointed out that the term “exporter” is also defined by other provisions under Community law (e.g. agricultural products benefiting from export refunds, dual-use items, suspensive arrangements, etc.) and in these cases the exercise of such similar rights is subject to these specific provisions.
Furthermore, pursuant to Article 24 of the VAT Code (Law 2859/2000), VAT exemptions apply to the delivery of goods exported outside the Community by the seller or by another person acting on behalf of the seller.
Persons established and subject to tax in another Member State are required to have a TIN issued in Greece in the event that they effect taxable transactions in Greece, however they are not required to appoint a tax representative. This follows from the conjunction of the provisions of paragraphs 1 and 2 and of point d) of paragraph 4 of Article 36 of the VAT Code, as in force following its amendment by Article 18(9) of Law 3312/2005 of 1.1.2005. At the time when the relevant obligation did apply and for the purpose of facilitating transactions, a decision was issued by the Minister for Finance under numberLaw 3312/200, according to which, it was not required to appoint a tax representative in cases of exports made on behalf of a person established and subject to tax in another Member State.
Taking into account the aforementioned legal framework, in the case of delivery of goods by a seller established in Greece to a buyer established in another Member State and the direct export of these goods for the purposes of simplifying procedures, the following are clarified under Ministerial Circular POL 1167/2013:
a) In the case that the seller established in Greece is granted, following the issuance of an order by the buyer established in another Member State, the right of disposal over the goods and completion of the export formalities in accordance with Article 788 of Regulation (EEC) No 2454/93, the buyer who is established and subject to tax in another Member State is not required to have a TIN/VAT number issued in Greece. As a result, the taxation documents issued for the delivery of goods by the person established in Greece, which goods will eventually be exported by the latter to a third country outside the Community, are not subject to VAT, but must state, in addition to all other required information, the particulars of the recipient of the goods in the third country. The dispatcher/exporter must keep on file the IE599 Export Notice, certified by the competent customs authorities, which confirms the departure of the goods, in order to use it as a supporting document for the exemption of VAT on the delivery of goods exported outside the EU.
b) Should the buyer who is established in another Member State not assign the right of disposal over the goods and should it complete the export formalities in the capacity of exporter, it will be required to obtain a TIN/VAT number in Greece in order to export the goods, in accordance with Article 788 of Regulation (EEC) No 2454/93. In this case, the taxation document issued by the seller established in Greece for the delivery of goods, which will subsequently be exported by the buyer/exporter established in a different Member State, will be subject to VAT. The seller established and subject to tax in another Member State will be obliged to state its Greek TIN on the invoice issued to the third country. Moreover, when filing periodic and annual VAT returns, as regards its exports from Greece, it will be entitled to a discount on the VAT charged on its purchases, and in the event of a credit balance, it will be entitled to a refund in accordance with the provisions of Article 34 of the VAT Code.