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Brace for Brexit 18: New one stop shop

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Jason Croke examines how UK businesses trading with EU consumers (B2C) will change from 2021, and how the new one stop shop (OSS) rules will work from 1 July 2021.

18th Dec 2020
VAT Director Rayner Essex
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Both the UK and EU are implementing new rules which will see the liability for VAT shift to the seller on imports to consumers. The customer will no longer have the option of going to the post office and paying the import VAT. Any non-EU business selling to EU consumers will be required to register for VAT in each jurisdiction it sells to.

The UK will no longer be treated as part of the EU from 1 January 2021, so whilst these changes are not strictly Brexit related, the fact the UK becomes a third country means these changes will affect UK sellers equally as suppliers in China, Australia or USA.

One registration

Multiple VAT registrations can involve considerable cost. The new OSS aims to simplify matters by allowing the non-EU seller (including the UK) to register for VAT in one EU member state and collect VAT from all their EU sales and report on a single VAT return. 

This works in the same way as Mini One Stop Shop (MOSS) which currently exists for the sale of digital services to consumers, OSS is an extension of that scheme to cover goods.

OMP involvement

If the seller trades via an online marketplace (OMP) such as Amazon or eBay, then the seller has a choice:

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Replies (3)

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By Justin Bryant
18th Dec 2020 12:59

Nothing here, though, to confirm whether or not this will apply to accountancy/legal/consultancy services and the like. If you find this out, I would be interested.

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Replying to Justin Bryant:
Jason Croke
By Jason Croke
20th Dec 2020 19:22

Justin Bryant wrote:

Nothing here, though, to confirm whether or not this will apply to accountancy/legal/consultancy services and the like. If you find this out, I would be interested.


One Stop Shop (OSS) is just for goods sold to EU consumers (B2C).

Mini One Stop Shop (MOSS) is just for digital sales to EU consumers (B2c).

Services of Accountants, legal and other professions are currently UK VATable if to EU consumers and outside scope of non-EU consumers. From January, EU consumers are treated same as non-EU consumers, outside the scope of VAT.

HMRC should update the place of supply guidance in due course, but for now, when reading that notice, replace the word "EU" with rest of world, then the guidance makes sense for next year.

Thanks (1)
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By chrispinches
31st Mar 2021 11:03

Thanks Jason,

Could you clarify whether there is scope to zero rate sales less than EUR150 to EU consumers from 1st July and get the postal operator to pay the VAT and so avoid the need to register for IOSS at all? I think I've read that these are known as the Special Arrangements.

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