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If you have a specific question about an order, we recommend contacting the seller directly. This is often the fastest way to obtain order information. View instructions.
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Many other questions can be answered by visiting our help center.
This declaration applies to sellers in non-EU countries who are not required to be tax registered in Germany. The declaration asks you to confirm relevant facts and circumstances that show you are exempt from being tax registered in Germany.
If you are unsure if you are required to be tax registered, please consult with your tax advisor. We have also prepared a Help Page with a list of advisors:
What does the second part about the carrier and the customer mean?
Depending on the carrier and the customer’s circumstances, the package may be delivered to a customs office for pick-up by the buyer, who then pays any applicable taxes and duties, or it may be delivered directly to the buyer, who then pays any applicable taxes and duties to the carrier. This process already exists in Germany. If you are unsure about how to proceed, please consult with your tax advisor.
What does Section 3 Paragraph 8 of the German VAT Code say?
Unfortunately the German VAT Code, Umsatzsteuergesetz (UStG), is only available in German (see link below). We advise using Chrome or Google for a general translation of the text.
Additional information can be found on the German customs website below:
Please note this page is available in English, German and French. Select your the language from the drop down menu on the top right hand side of the page. We advise using Chrome or Google for a general translation of the text to other languages.
Will my declaration be shared with the German tax authorities?
German tax authorities have the right to request copies of seller declarations.
I don’t want to receive orders from Germany – what should I do?
If you do not accept the declaration, or do nothing, then you will not receive orders from customers in Germany.
Is there a deadline to acknowledge the declaration?
You can acknowledge the declaration at any time. If you decide not to accept the declaration, or do nothing, then you will not be able to receive orders from customers in Germany via AbeBooks. You can change your selection at a later date.
How can I make sure all this happens when I ship to a customer in Germany?
Consult with your shipping provider about how their packages are handled in Germany. It is important that you provide correct documentation when shipping a package to a customer in Germany.
What happens if the customer refuses to pay the VAT or import duties?
The package is usually retained for seven days by the carrier or customs office before it is returned to the sender.
If I acknowledge the declaration, how soon will people in Germany be able to buy my books?
It will take up to 24 hours for us to make your inventory available to customers in Germany.
Do I need to send a message to a customer in Germany saying that they are responsible for VAT?
That is not necessary, although we always welcome clear and helpful communication between the seller and buyer.
Why are you doing this?
Section 22 f of the German VAT Code requires marketplaces to verify if sellers are tax registered in Germany by collecting tax certificates. For sellers who are not obliged to be tax registered in Germany, marketplaces can obtain a declaration confirming relevant facts and circumstances that show they exempt the sellers from tax registration obligations. Section 22 (§ 22 f UStG) is only available in German and can be reviewed here:
Why doesn’t AbeBooks collect the German sales tax?
The German legislation does not permit marketplaces, such AbeBooks, to collect and remit sales tax from customers.
My tax advisor says I don’t need to register for German VAT.
If you acknowledge the declaration, then you can receive orders from customers in Germany.
What about sellers in EU countries?
For EU sellers, the new legislation is enacted on October 1, 2019. AbeBooks will send separate messaging to EU sellers.
Is there an English version of the legislation available?
This information is currently only available in Germany. If an English version comes available, we will provide this information on the declaration page.
What shipping company should I use to ship my items into Germany?
We cannot advise on shipping services.