Most imports will become more expensive from July 1
E-commerce deliveries from overseas will become more expensive starting next month, as all parcel imports will have to be subject to the value-added tax rate that applies in the destination country or territory according to a ruling of the European Union also applying to Greece, from 1 July.
In addition, small parcels with a value of up to 22 euros each from non-EU countries and which are exempt from VAT until June 30, will also come under the new framework, as studies of the European Commission have revealed that they create unfair competition and that tax evasion is estimated at 5 billion euros per year. Data shows that each year EU Member States import around 150 million small packages.
Therefore, Greek consumers will have to pay VAT on the packages they receive, either 24%, 13% or 6%, depending on the type of product they ordered.
The levy of VAT on small parcels is based on their time of entry into the EU and not on the time of the online order or the start of the shipping process by the seller. Therefore, any individual importer or courier company importing packages from July 1 will have to follow the legal customs procedure and pay – depending on the type of goods imported – the applicable VAT.
In practice, this means, for example, that if a Greek resident orders a € 20 gadget in China through any platform, he will pay exactly € 20 if it arrives in Greece (or another EU country first) before June 30. If the same product does not arrive before July 1, then the resident in Greece will have to pay a tax of € 4.80 for VAT, bringing the total cost to € 24.80.
If the same product of the same value is ordered from France, it will return to the Greek resident € 20 plus € 4 by June 30, as the French rate of 20% will apply, but from July 1 the cost will drop. at € 24.80 as the Greek VAT rate of 24% will start to apply.
Nonetheless, this means lower costs for imports from EU countries with higher VAT rates than Greece, such as Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Hungary and Croatia.
This new system is expected to introduce significant changes in the transactions of taxpayers who make purchases online. Finance ministry officials say it will help state coffers as well.