SILS offers the solution for correctly calculating customs value for e- commerce parties from outside Europe.

More and more parties from outside Europe are entering the European market with e-commerce activities. Especially from China we see these activities increasing. They sell their own products in Europe or through platforms like Amazon. From the perspective of customs this is quite a complicated matter. Particularly with regard to the correct determination of the customs value and the allocation resulting from these import duties. Customs are currently looking at e-commerce parties with specific interest regarding this matter. SILS offers a complete solution for this issue.

Just like everyone, these e-commerce parties from outside Europe must report these imported goods to customs and pay import duties. The customs freight forwarder in Europe, or the logistics services provider, represents the interests of its customer (from outside Europe) and always declares the customs value of the goods being imported. The customs value is the amount from which the import rate is calculated. In most cases, this is based on the transaction value (based on the sales / purchase invoice). After payment of import duties and (settlement) of VAT, these goods are in free circulation within the EU.

Purchase and sales invoice: improper basis for determination of customs value

However, it may happen that the e-commerce company initially only sends its own goods. For example, when the goods are still to be sold via Amazon. In that case, there is still no actual sale / sale at the time the goods arrive in Europe. This means that upon entry of these goods in the EU this invoice can not serve to determine the customs value. The European customs authorities have found that companies sometimes indicate that the customs value was established on the basis of a transaction. However, according to the Customs Union Customs Code (DWU), the customs value has to be determined in another way. Since a huge amount of import duties and VAT has been lost in recent years, the customs authorities in the European Union are now working closely together to make tight checks.

SILS develops alternative and tested methodology

This is a real challenge for SILS, with the purpose of helping e-commerce parties from outside Europe, especially Chinese and American parties, to import their goods in a customs-correct manner in Europe. Not based on purchase / sales value, but based on another valuation in accordance with a methodology tested and agreed.

Also helping you with complex VAT legislation

Non-European companies also have to deal with complex VAT legislation in Europe. The various countries and sales channels also require good expertise in this area. The situation is different when sold directly from the Netherlands or when the goods are first transferred to a fulfilment centre in Germany and sold from there. Here too, SILS offers the solution, which prevents e-commerce parties receiving a VAT levy within the EU.

No delay and no levies

As a result of a request from a strategic partner with a lot of experience with Chinese e-commerce parties, SILS developed a calculation methodology to handle tax-legal and EU- wide taxation in a timely manner. Ultimately tested by the Customs National Value Team and quickly adjustable to any product category. So there is no unnecessary delay after entry into the EU. Because, in spite of the complexity of this matter, SILS ensures that this calculation method for the valuation is efficient and usable on a low-threshold basis. This commitment of SILS to this complex issue means that e-commerce parties from outside Europe can continue to import into the EU without delay and without risk of levies.

Complete care also possible

We would almost forget: SILS is also physically active as a logistics service provider! In addition to all the above-mentioned import and VAT guidance, we can also physically transport, store and resume your goods from outside Europe, and then re-distribute these within the EU. In short, complete care. But obviously, you are also free to only choose for our customs and VAT expertise in this complex area.


Jens Stevens