Understanding IOSS in Europe: Compliance and customer satisfaction

2021-07-22

Written by Starshipit

The Import One-Stop Shop (IOSS) is the electronic portal you can use from 1 July 2021 to comply with your EU VAT eCommerce obligations. If you sell products to countries within the EU then this blog is for you.

Once you’ve registered for the IOSS you will have a unique IOSS number which you’ll need to include in your shipment documentation for shipments entering the EU from non-EU countries.

This means your shipment’s customs documentation must include the IOSS number of the marketplace or online store where the order was placed.

In this blog we’ll show you how to easily set up Starshipit for IOSS so you can stay compliant with these recent changes.

You can find more details about IOSS on the European Commission Taxation and Customs Union website.

Setting up IOSS numbers for each marketplace you sell through

Starshipit supports IOSS tax numbers so you can stay compliant with these new requirements simply by following your usual shipping process. If you sell through multiple channels, you can even set IOSS numbers for each marketplace you sell through.

Starshipit automatically transmits an order’s IOSS number to your couriers so that this is available to EU customs. This happens behind the scenes, so you will not need to change any part of your usual shipping process.

See how to Set up Shipper Tax Numbers in Starshipit.

Automating IOSS with Starshipit’s Rules

Let’s say you receive orders from Amazon, Shopify and eBay. Starshipit already imports these into your account for you and now you can set which IOSS number should be assigned to each order on import.

This is done through Starshipit’s Rules. You may already be using rules to automate things like choosing the cheapest courier or assigning express orders to your express shipping service.

As in this example you receive orders from three marketplaces you can set up three rules to assign the right IOSS number to each order. Once set up these rules will be applied to all orders that are imported into Starshipit with a destination inside the EU.

The Conditions, Actions and Values for your three rules will look like this:

Amazon
  • Condition: Integration | Equals | Amazon
  • Action: Set Shipper Tax Number
  • Value: IOSS – Import One-Stop-Shop | Amazon’s IOSS number
Shopify
  • Condition: Integration | Equals | Shopify
  • Action: Set Shipper Tax Number
  • Value: IOSS – Import One-Stop-Shop | Shopify’s IOSS number
eBay
  • Condition: Integration | Equals | eBay
  • Action: Set Shipper Tax Number
  • Value: IOSS – Import One-Stop-Shop | eBay’s IOSS number

Once set up, these rules will automatically assign the correct IOSS number for each order on import. This is then automatically included in each shipment's customs documentation.

How IOSS works with your couriers

When you send shipments internationally a commercial invoice is created. This serves as a contract and a proof of sale between the buyer (your customer) and seller (you). This is also required for customs clearance purposes to calculate and assess the duties and taxes due.

Starshipit generates commercial invoices for you when you print labels for international shipments. Some couriers such as DHL Express allow you to use Paperless Trade. Once enabled, Paperless Trade means that your commercial invoice information is transmitted electronically rather than requiring a printed commercial invoice.

IOSS works in a similar way. When your labels are printed from Starshipit the IOSS number selected will be transmitted to your courier electronically. Your courier then makes the package’s IOSS information available to EU customs when your shipment enters the EU.

Shipping from Australia into the EU

Using IOSS is mandatory for all shipments entering the EU from 1 July 2021, so if you’re sending orders from Australia into the EU you’ll need to make sure you’re compliant.

You’ll need to check which marketplaces you currently sell through then find or register the IOSS numbers for each one. This includes your own store if you sell directly from your website.

Once you have these you can set them up in Starshipit by following the steps outlined above. These IOSS numbers will only be added to orders going into the EU so won’t be transmitted on your domestic orders or orders being sent to countries outside the EU.

Frequently asked questions

Does Starshipit support the VAT requirements introduced on 1 July 2021 (IOSS, Import One-Stop-Shop)?
I’ve got multiple IOSS numbers, can I use more than one IOSS number?
Why isn’t my IOSS number showing on the label for my order?
I only ship to countries outside of the EU, will I need to do anything?
Is the courier I use currently supported?

Ship smarter and grow faster

Staying IOSS compliant while shipping as you usually do is just another way Starshipit helps you ship smarter and grow faster.

If you’d like to keep up to date with newly released feature, or if you’d like to request a new feature, check out our Changelog and Feedback board.

For more helpful tips and tricks check out our Knowledge Base.

Starshipit

Starshipit

Starshipit is the best practice shipping and fulfilment platform that helps retailers save time and deliver great shipping experiences.

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