VAT Rates in the EU - Learn more about the VAT Rates here at Shipmondo

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Camilla Jacobsen
by Camilla Jacobsen 05/11/2023

If you sell goods to consumers in other EU countries, it is your responsibility to know which VAT rate applies. Here's an overview of VAT rates within the EU.

VAT Rates in the EU - Learn more about the VAT Rates here at Shipmondo

When you sell goods in the EU, VAT must be charged. However, it is up to the individual EU countries to set their VAT rates, so the VAT also differs from country to country.

VAT rates in EU countries

To give an overview, we have made compiled a table here, so you can see the rates that apply to the individual EU countries:

CountryStandard rateReduced rateSuper-reduced rateParking rate

Normal rate

In the EU, every country determines its standard VAT rate, but it’s required to be no less than 15% according to EU regulations. This standard rate is a fixed percentage applied to the majority of goods and services.

Reduced rate

EU countries have the option to adopt differentiated VAT rates, allowing them to apply one or two lower rates to certain goods and services. These reduced rates, when applied, must be no less than 5%.

It’s important to note, however, that these reduced rates do not extend to electronically delivered services.

As indicated in the table above, Denmark stands out as the sole EU member that does not implement any reduced rates.

The goods and services that qualify for reduced VAT rates differ from country to country, and therefore the applicable categories may vary across the EU.

For example, Germany has a general reduced VAT on all food (7%), while Croatia, for example, has a reduced rate only on dairy products (5%).

List of deliveries of goods and services that can be charged at reduced rates:

  • Foodstuffs (including beverages other than alcohol), forage, animals, seeds, plants, ingredients used in the preparation of foodstuffs, and feed or products used in addition to, or in place of food and feed
  • Water supply
  • Pharmaceutical products used in healthcare, disease prevention, and medical and veterinary treatment
  • Medical devices, aids, and other devices used to reduce or treat disabilities, for the personal use of disabled persons - including the repair of such goods, as well as child seats for cars
  • Carriage of persons and their luggage
  • Delivery (including lending to libraries) of books, journals and newspapers, on either physical or electronic media or both. Does not apply to publications that are exclusively, or mainly advertising as well as material that consists exclusively or mainly of video content or audible music
  • Admission to performances, theaters, fairs, circuses, amusement parks, concerts, museums, zoos, cinemas, exhibitions, and similar cultural events
  • Radio and television reception
  • Services provided by, or royalties to, authors, composers, and performers
  • Delivery, construction, renovation, and conversion of housing as part of a social policy
  • Renovation and repair of private homes. Does not apply to materials that make up a significant part of the value of the service provided
  • Window cleaning and cleaning in private households
  • Supplies of goods and services normally intended for use in agricultural production, excluding capital goods such as machinery and buildings
  • Stays in hotels, including holiday stays and rental of pitches on campsites and pitches for caravans
  • Restaurant and catering services
  • Admission to sporting events
  • Access to use of sports facilities
  • Delivery of goods and services from charities
  • Funeral services and cremation, as well as delivery of goods in that connection
  • Medical treatment, dental treatment, and thermotherapy
  • Services related to street cleaning, waste disposal, and treatment
  • Minor repairs of bicycles, shoes and leather goods, clothing and linen
  • Home care: for instance, home help and care for children, the elderly, the sick or the disabled
  • Hairdressing business

Special rates

Some EU countries have the option to apply special VAT rates to specific deliveries. These rates are available to countries that were already using them as of January 1, 1991.

Initially, these special rates were temporary measures to facilitate the transition to EU VAT rules introduced with the internal market on January 1, 1993.

They were intended to be gradually phased out, but continue to be in use by those countries that had them in place from the start.

What is a super-reduced rate?

In some EU countries, super-reduced rates of less than 5% are applied to the sale of a limited list of goods and services. You can find more information from the authorities of the individual countries.

What is a parking rate?

Parking rate is used by some EU countries on certain supplies of goods and services that are not mentioned in the list above. Countries using the parking rate may still apply reduced rates in these cases, as long as the rate is not below 12%.

EU VAT Rules for e-commerce

As of July 1, 2021, the EU has implemented a unified distance-selling threshold of EUR 10,000, encompassing the distance sale of goods and electronic services to private consumers within the EU. This threshold is relevant to all your sales across EU countries.

For example, if you sell for 3,000 EUR to Swedish customers and 5,000 EUR to Finnish customers, and your total revenue from these sales is below the EU’s threshold of 10,000 EUR for distance selling, you can continue to charge Danish VAT (25%) on these sales. This assumes that your business is based in Denmark. The VAT must be reported and paid to the Danish tax authorities.

However, if you sell for, for example, EUR 7,000 to German customers and EUR 8,000 to Italian customers, your sales exceed the distance selling threshold - and therefore you must report and pay VAT in Germany and Italy according to the VAT rates applicable in these two countries.

Are you sending packages to several countries within the EU?

Then you can create a free Shipmondo account and gather all your freight agreements in one place.

You can also book freight with various carriers directly from your Shipmondo account.

Book freight outside of the EU through Shipmondo

When you want to send goods outside the EU, a variety of different rules and factors apply.

If you are considering expanding your business, we recommend that you thoroughly research the markets.

For example, if you want to ship to Norway, there are differences in the documentation required depending on what you are shipping, its value, and the type of packaging.

At Shipmondo, we are always available for consultation and guidance if you have any questions about VAT, freight, delivery, customs, tariff codes, EORI number, or anything in between.

With a Shipmondo account, you have the option to fill out customs papers electronically and automatically, making it easy and quick to create your export shipments. This is particularly smart if you have multiple shipments to Norway or other countries outside the EU.

It’s simple, fast, and efficient, and you can start sending packages to countries outside the EU today.

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