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Simplified procedures for importing goods into european union member states

Entrepreneurs who want to import their goods into EU Member States can use several types of simplified customs clearance procedures. In the first case, an incomplete customs declaration may be submitted (without several documents from the list). Unfortunately, this procedure is available for companies with the status of a trusted exporter or importer. For those who do not have this status, there is another type which allows you to deliver goods and  comply with formalities  not at customs, but in special places.

Import formalities take a little longer than export, especially if importing from third countries. Control and registration consist of several steps:

  1. The appropriate custom authority receives documents for goods from an importer in order to verify;
  2. Preparing a SAD document;
  3. Calculating and summarizing all customs duties or taxes;
  4. Informing the domestic buyer and competent authority, which must respond within a 2 hours;
  5. If the customs accepted the unloading, the goods are entered into the register and the amount of customs duties are immediately calculated;
  6. The employee conducting the checks and registration is obliged to return the documents and goods to the entrepreneur after the entire check.

In accordance with art. 33a of the VAT Act, an entrepreneur who imports goods into EU Member States may account for the VAT without paying the tax in advance. To use of the simplified procedure the following conditions must be met:

  1. Notification of intention to use the simplified procedure to account for VAT to the relevant head of the tax and customs administration, which should be sent to both departments in writing;
  2. Submit at the customs office a tax clearance certificate from the Tax Office and  insurance premiums from ZUS, as well as provide confirmation of VAT registration.

When presenting the documents mentioned above, it is worth to remember that:

  • an entrepreneur is not obliged to provide the above documents to the heads of the relevant departments, if they were submitted earlier (no earlier than 6 months before);
  • if the content of the required documents needed for import has not changed, it is considered not necessary to re-submit them to the document control officer. However, this decision belongs to the customs officer and, at his request to re-provide the requested documents, the entrepreneur must show them;
  • an entrepreneur is obliged to provide the customs with confirmation of tax payment on import 4 months before the date of the chargeable event.

Fulfilling these conditions will allow entrepreneur to use the simplified procedure and pay tax in the next tax period following the tax obligation period. If the simplified procedure isn’t used, the taxpayer is obliged to pay VAT earlier.