Import VAT Austria

FAQ Import VAT – What you should consider for your Austrian imports from third countries

You want to import goods, as parcels or on pallets, from non-EU countries such as the USA, Switzerland, England or Turkey to Austria and are not sure what you should consider regarding import VAT? As a multi-carrier service for B2B companies, we have compiled some relevant information for you to help you with your goods imports from non-EU countries.

What is the import VAT?

Import VAT (abbreviated to EUSt) is a tax levied on the import of goods from third countries into the Republic of Austria. This import tax is omitted for imports from other EU member states, such as Germany. More detailed information on imports from non-EU countries can be found on the website of the Austrian Economic Chamber.

What has changed as of 1.7.2021 with the fall of the tax-free limit?

As of 01.07.2021, the tax-free limit will no longer apply to shipments from non-EU countries with a goods value of less than 22 euros. These “low-value imports” do not primarily affect B2B companies, as they often ship higher values of goods, such as small items and spare parts. Nevertheless, the following applies: since then, import VAT has to be paid for every shipment imported to Austria, regardless of the value of the goods. Read more in our blog article „What the new EU Vat Package means for your Import Shipping.”

All your shipments with goods content from a third country must be declared to Austrian customs before they can be delivered. For this purpose, companies need an EORI number, which you can easily apply for at the Federal Ministry of Finance. Bundesministerium für Finanzen You can find step-by-step instructions for your import in our “Import Checklist: How to import your goods safely and easily to Austria“, which you can download free of charge.

Import VAT England

The United Kingdom left the European Union on January 31, 2020 and is now officially a third country of the EU. Following the UK’s exit, the same rules for importing goods now apply as for other shipments from non-EU countries.

We’ve been following the UK’s exit from the EU in our “Brexit” blog series. Here you will find more helpful FAQs and links specifically related to imports from the UK.

Brexit: Shipping FAQ – What you should know about

Brexit – Do I have to pay more for my shipment to or from the UK?

Who has to pay the import VAT?

Everyone who imports goods into Austria, whether entrepreneurs or private individuals, must pay import VAT. The assessment basis on which the import VAT is calculated is basically the customs value. This is usually collected by the respective customs authority. The amount of import VAT in Austria is 20%.

How and where can I pay the import sales VAT in Austria?

EUSt in Austria can be paid either in cash or “non-cash” via the importer’s tax account. For companies, we recommend the less complicated “non-cash payment”. This is because entrepreneurs can pay the import VAT (EUSt) in Austria directly to the tax office and no longer to the customs authority. In this case, the customs office is still responsible for determining the EUSt, but the EUSt amounts are debited directly to the tax account (levy account) of the entrepreneur, the responsibility for payment then lies with the tax office.

From when are customs duties payable?

For shipments with a value of goods over 150 euros, additional customs duties are due. The amount of duties depends largely on the value of the goods and the type of shipment as well as the type of transport, whether express or courier service. The customs import VAT and customs duties are due for payment immediately upon import.

When booking via LetMeShip, you will receive an invoice with the customs fees and the customs documents as well as the invoice for the booking of the transport directly from the shipping service provider at the same time as your goods. This is because the shipping service provider pays in advance for the entire shipping process, both for the costs of transport and for customs.
Calculate your import duties now with the sales tax calculator (German language only).

What happens in case of non-compliance with import VAT in Austria?

Basically, it is important to comply with import VAT in Austria and to make all required payments and registrations correctly to avoid possible sanctions and penalties.

You could face the following sanctions:

  • If the regulations are not complied with, fines may be imposed. These depend on the severity of the violation and the value of the goods.
  • If import VAT regulations have been violated, the customs authority may seize the goods concerned.
  • If it is found that import VAT has not been paid or has been paid in an insufficient amount, the customs authority may demand payment of the tax owed in arrears (including interest, if applicable).
  • If the violation is serious, an investigation may even be initiated, possibly with penal consequences.
  • In certain cases, the manager or owner of a company may be held personally liable for non-compliance with import VAT.

How are the duties calculated according to the customs tariff?

The total amount of import duties is composed of the following types of duties, which are calculated individually:

  • Customs duty for all imported goods
  • Excise duty, if any, for all excisable goods (such as energy, alcohol, coffee, etc.)
  • Import VAT for all imported goods

The amount of import duties is then determined by the duty rates set out in the Common Customs Tariff of the European Union and national tax laws.

Due to the steadily increasing import quotas from third countries such as the USA and China and the high volume of international shipments by Austrian companies, we have detailed information on the following topics ready for you:
Import of Goods from China
Import of Goods from USA
Optimize your international B2B shipments