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Intrastat Returns

Intrastat returns: how compliant are you with these mandatory returns

Intrastat returns became mandatory after the European borders were removed in 1993. Intrastat returns provide EU National Customs Authorities as well as the European Commission with detailed information about the kinds and volumes of goods circulating within the European Union territory. All EU Member States impose VAT registered companies to file Intrastat declarations when they have B to B cross border transactions of goods. Please however note that Intrastat only apply for Intra EC supplies or acquisitions, that is to say when goods are moved from an EU country to another.

Intrastat declarations are compulsory and have to be submitted on due time. Intrastat returns have to be filed when shipping or receiving goods to or from EU countries. Each EU Member State has however decided about specific thresholds. Threrefore Intrastat returns only have to be filed only when yearly amounts of transactions are overpassed. RMB then strongly recommends companies to closely follow up their Intra EC flows of goods.

RMB provides Intrastat compliance services to around 300 businesses having goods transactions in all 28 European Member States. Being a full independent company allows RMB to quickly respond to businesses requests. Companies more and more expect direct answers and adapted advice to their problems or issues. RMB’s team never hides behind complicated laws articles or theoretical answers. Businesses know their situation and know what to do after having questioned RMB. RM Boulanger offers to take care of your Intrastat returns in all 28 EU Member States.

Being compliant with Intrastat is not easy as this matter requires a perfect knowledge of the VAT and customs regulations. RM Boulanger as one the very few independent European VAT and Intrastat experts. RM Boulanger would be glad to help you. Your company will receive clear and detailed answers to your questions related your Intrastat obligations as well as to any question arising from your your EU cross border transactions.

We can also support you with cross border VAT, fiscal representation, EU VAT registrations and EORI number applications.


Intrastat filings contain very detailed information such as the customs identification numbers of the products (HS code), quantities, weight, country of origin, VAT registration number of the seller and the recipient, address of shipment or destination, … This information must be complete as EU National Customs Authorities are entitled to audit your Intrastat declarations anytime.

Indeed, Intrastat returns are sent to a central hub in Brussels and are electronically checked. Penalties can be heavy as fines for missing or incorrect information are multiplied by the number of operations audited. In France, Intrastat returns can be inspected for over a 3 year + current year period.
The information requested by the Local Customs Authorities may differ from an EU Member State to another.

Product classification

Companies that are used to import or export goods should easily know what their customs identification products codes (HS codes) are (according to the Taric Code). Their Intrastat returns will have to show the same digits. For companies that do not know about their products codes, products will have to be classified. This may be a significant load of work especially when the number of references (SKUs) is high. All products will have to be classified one by one.

Period of submission

Intrastat declarations have to be submitted on the following month goods have been shipped or received. There is then no compulsory “nihil” Intrastat declaration to be submitted as it is the case with VAT returns. The submission deadline is around 10 days following the month (depending on the country) when the operations took place. We would like to draw your attention to the fact that information shown in your VAT returns have to match perfectly with your Intrastat returns.

How can we help you today?

Do you have questions about how RMB can help your business? Send us an email and we’ll get in touch with you shortly, our VAT experts are always happy to help. You can also contact us by phone: +33 3 20 25 70 70.

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