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Triangulation with a Swiss company involvment

What are the VAT obligations for a Swiss company that buys wine from Italy and sells to Germany?

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Hello, 

my Company is based in Switzerland and I want to buy wine from Italy and sell to Germany. The physical travel of the wine will be directly from Italy to my customer in Germany. 

Both my supplier in Italy and my customer in Germany are VAT registered in their respective Country.

What are my VAT obligations? Do I have to be registered in Germany or Italy?

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By Tim Vane
26th Jun 2020 09:19

Ah, Swiss Triangulation. Toblerone, anyone?

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Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
26th Jun 2020 09:40

Unless we have a hidden expert here re German,Italian, Swiss vat (or its equivalent really) , which I have seen no sign that we do, you may be unlikely to get a response here given this is a UK site.

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Replying to DJKL:
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By tom123
26th Jun 2020 10:23

Although in theory the rules should be the same with any group of three countries.

I doubt they are, though, and have managed to avoid this situation apart from in an exam that I cannot remember.

I would assume that, if all sales are business to business, with VAT numbers, no actual vat needs to be paid between customers and suppliers and it is all dealt with on the returns.

Apart from that, no idea.

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Replying to tom123:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
26th Jun 2020 11:40

Not sure about the Swiss bit as they are outwith the EU but with some bespoke arrangements with same, then again goods never go in or out of Switzerland.

I do know there is a lot more involved taking goods into Switzerland , as on of the Three Men in a Pub group programmes re Brexit the one who does such deliveries tried to explain it all; then again, the goods do not even go there so maybe it is as simple as registering in Italy and that is it.

The OP needs to confirm what presence his business actually has in Italy and in Germany, warehousing, offices etc?

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By nksimmons
24th Sep 2020 10:29

I have a very similar question that I am trying to resolve (goods stuck awaiting clarification of rules / correct treatment!).

My company (UK based) has an arrangement with a contract manufacturer in Italy. We have sold goods to a customer in Switzerland. My company is invoicing the Swiss company (and we have been invoiced by our Italian manufacturer) the goods are going directly from Italy to Switzerland (although it would probably been easier if they had done the round trip to the UK first the way things presently stand!).

Does anyone have experience of this?! It is a form of triangulation. I have contacted the Swiss customs (very, very helpful) and they tell me all they need as an invoice from my UK company to the Swiss company to be able to calculate Swiss VAT due on import (which our customer will then be able to reclaim). The issue is all around the shipper and the Italian manufacturer confusing everything by attempting to introduce the invoice from Italy to the UK in to the mix (which has a different value to what we have on the UK/Swiss invoice - something I would have thought is perfectly normal in the case of triangulation - the profit or loss ending up in the UK).

Can't wait for Brexit!!

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