On 27th October 2021, the Belgian authorities published Circular 2021/C/96 which clarifies the VAT exemption for transport services directly linked to the export of goods.
This circular takes into account the interpretation given by the Court of Justice of the European Union in the “LC IK” case of 29th June 2017 concerning Article 146 of Council Directive 2006/112/EC of 28th November 2006 on the exemption of export transport services.
The judgment specifies that the exemption can only apply to transport services directly linked to the export of goods and in a relationship between the service provider (the carrier) and the sender or recipient of the goods to be exported.
In practice, who can benefit from the exemption under this case law?
It can be:
- the seller/buyer of the goods to be exported,
- the owner, the lessee, the borrower of the goods to be exported,
- the contractor who exports goods outside the EU for the purpose of having them repaired, transformed or adapted,
- a person who re-exports goods from the EU which they have received on sight, on trial or on consignment,
- a person who re-exports goods outside the EU after they have been repaired, treated, processed or modified by them.
Please note – the circular specifies that the exemption does not apply when the transport provider uses a subcontractor to provide the export transport service.
This circular is applicable from 1st January 2022.