Smart VAT solutions reduce the need for working capital and improve profitability when importing fruit in Europe.
ABLD provides international fruit traders with advice and assistance in planning and dealing with VAT issues. We represent clients in dealings with the tax authorities and act as fiscal representative to ensure compliance.
Benefits of the Dutch VAT regime
The port of Rotterdam is an important gateway for European fruit trading, not just because of its efficient logistical services, but also for an advantageous VAT regime.
While the fundamentals of VAT legislation are the same throughout Europe, there are nevertheless significant differences in implementation from one EU member state to the next. In most EU member states, import duties and VAT are due immediately upon importing fruits and vegetables into the EU. When produce is subsequently sold to customers in other EU member states, VAT paid at import can be reclaimed, but the process is lengthy, raising the need for additional working capital and creating administrative burdens.
The Netherlands offers international fruit trading companies an interesting VAT deferral regime that offers significant cash flow advantages. Payment of VAT due on imported fruit may be postponed and settled at the moment of selling fruit. To the extent that fruit imported through the Netherlands is delivered to customers in other EU member states, the net balance due to the tax authorities will be zero.
Both Dutch and foreign companies can benefit from the VAT deferral regime, however companies that are not established in the Netherlands need to appoint a fiscal representative. A fiscal representative takes care of tax filings on behalf of the foreign company and ensures compliance with VAT laws.
The majority of logistical service companies offer limited fiscal representation services. However, in order to comply with VAT legislation in the Netherlands, a company must follow strict procedures with respect to invoicing, transport documentation and certain declarations, failing which the tax authorities may impose penalties and revoke permits.
Especially where trade flows are significant and complex, ABLD assists international fruit traders in the process of obtaining a Dutch VAT-number and acts as general fiscal representative in dealings with the Dutch tax authorities. We provide advice on how to comply with invoice requirements and support and maintain adequate administration for tax purposes.