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Update: VAT exemption for transport services subcontracted linked to exports

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New arrangement suspended!

Today, Belgian VAT legislation provides that transport services are exempt from VAT when they are directly related to the export of goods from Belgium or another EU member state, to a country outside the VAT territory of the European Union.

Consequently, transport companies that carry out such transports directly for exporters of goods or also in subcontracting for other transport companies can today exempt their services from VAT based on this provision.

However, a ruling by the Court of Justice ensured that this VAT exemption could only be applied in the relationship transport company - executor of the goods and not in any previous relationships, being when the transport company would use a subcontractor for the transport. If a transport company uses a subcontractor to carry out the goods transport service, then this service provided by the subcontractor cannot be exempted from VAT.

In line with this case law, the VAT administration had decided at the end of last year to adapt the Belgian VAT legislation accordingly. The entry into force of this new regulation was initially planned for 01/01/2022 but was postponed to 01/04/2022 and then to 01/09/2022. The administration has now decided to postpone the entry into force indefinitely until all EU Member States have adopted a uniform position.

In concrete terms, this means that until further notice, the current rules will continue to apply and transports associated with the export of goods can continue to be exempt from VAT regardless of whether the principal is an intermediary or the owner of the goods.


See below our previous article:


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