On the 1st of January 1993 the internal market was established, meaning all border control between EU members became redundant. However, the information and statistics on trade between the EU members remained, and the European Union came with the Intrastat: a system that collects data and information on the trade in goods between EU member states. For the Netherlands these statistics are very informing since 71% of their trade consists of export to EU countries. But there are certain guidelines to deliver sufficient enough data for the INTRASTAT. These guidelines are made by statistics bureaus in the EU members states. For the Netherlands that would be the CBS: Central Statistics Bureau. For each EU member state there is a different statistics bureau where companies will give their data for statistics in cooperation with tax bureaus in their countries. The information reports are strictly mandatory based on the EU 638/2004. As a company everyone needs to be aware of when the information needs to be reported. Every statistics bureau in every country has their own guidelines and are made available on their websites.
The information on trade and statistics needs to be delivered to the central bureau of statistics in the EU member state, by the company itself. But it also happens that some companies outsource their documenting on trade and statistics. This work can be done by administration offices or expeditors. Providing such statistics can be complicated or too much work for a company. Nowadays it becomes more popular to outsource ones trade information and statistics on the INTRASTAT network. The most important aspect of course is that the information and statistics are reliable, true and as detailed as possible.
But why are tax agencies involved?
The whole INTRASTAT network is based on the registers of participants in Trade between EU member states. The tax bureaus provide certain registers to the bureaus of statistics in order for the statistics bureaus to check whether the information and the statistics that were provided are reliable and correct. What is very important is that the VAT number is used. However, the VAT numbers are protected and will not be published for the public eye to see. And the other way around, the statistics bureau will not provide the tax bureaus with certain information regarding the trade statistics. Any valuable information is protected.
When does a company need to participate?
Participation is mandatory when the trade to European member states is 1 million euro and the import is 800.000 euro. When only the import is higher than the required amount, and not the export, the statistics bureau only asks for the import statistics. When a company needs to participate, they will be notified with a letter form the statistics bureau.
As earlier stated, Intrastat can be a lot of work for a company. Do you have any questions about the Intrastat? Please feel free to contact us directly to see what GCA can do for you.