June 15, 2021
As of July 1, 2021, import VAT exemption for goods with a value under 22 EUR will be abolished. All consignments sent from third countries to Lithuania will be subject to Lithuanian import VAT. Due to these changes, sellers or buyers of the goods will be required to declare even the cheapest products by submitting electronic customs declarations and pay the import VAT at the Lithuanian border. These new regulations will affect many businesses and consumers, however, Lithuanian authorities are now ready for new rules to come into effect and prepared the measures to simplify import procedures as much as possible.
There are three possible scenarios of how import VAT could be declared and paid:
Import-One Stop Shop (IOSS).
Sellers not established in the EU or EU sellers keeping their stock out of EU will be eligible to register for IOSS scheme. This scheme allows a seller to collect import VAT from a buyer at checkout during the purchase and declare and pay this collected import VAT on behalf of the buyer to Lithuanian tax authorities. It is worth mentioning that only sellers importing goods with a value not exceeding 150 EUR per the same buyer will be eligible to participate in the IOSS scheme. Registration in the Lithuanian IOSS scheme has already started and all sellers are now eligible to register for IOSS in Lithuania. However, only sellers established in the European Union and Norway have direct access to the registration in IOSS scheme. If a seller is not based in the European Union but wishes to use IOSS scheme, he can do so by rendering services from an EU-established import intermediary. The import intermediary is the person who will be responsible for registering non-EU sellers for IOSS in Lithuania and for filling IOSS returns.
Lithuanian post or express couriers
If the seller importing goods to Lithuania is not registered in IOSS or the value of the goods exceeds 150 EUR per the same buyer. In that case, import VAT could be declared and paid on behalf of the buyer by Lithuanian post or express couriers (DHL, UPS, etc.). This, of course, will raise the final price of the purchased goods for the buyers as such Lithuanian post or express couriers’ services will not be free of charge.
If the buyer chooses the Lithuanian post as an import agent, the buyer will be charged a 3 EUR fee for Lithuanian post services. If buyer decides to import the goods on his own, the Lithuanian post will apply a 2 EUR intermediary fee. If buyer has paid import VAT at the checkout during the purchase, Lithuanian post will use a 1 EUR intermediary fee.
A buyer will need to select Lithuanian post as goods declaration and import VAT payment service provider by following this link: https://www.post.lt/lt/deklaravimas. Once chosen to declare goods via Lithuanian post, a recipient will receive notification about transportation of goods, import VAT declaration submission, import VAT payment, and delivery of the goods.
In choosing express couriers as import agents, import VAT will be paid and collected from a buyer when goods are delivered or when purchased goods are collected at a couriers’ distribution center. The intermediary fee will also be applied for express couriers’ services, the price ranges from courier to courier, but the average is 6 EUR. The buyer will have to create account at the express couriers’ website and provide the necessary information about the shipment to use express couriers’ services.
Suppose the information required for the goods declaration is not received by Lithuanian post or express courier from the buyer within the storage period of the goods (14 days). In that case, the goods will be returned to the country of dispatch—goods declaration via the electronic system – iMDAS.
Lithuanian customs have created electronic system – iMDAS – where buyers can fill and submit customs’ declarations and pay import VAT for purchased goods. However, these goods can be declared via iMDAS system only if their value is under 1000 EUR and VAT has not been paid at the time of the purchase. If goods value is above 1000 EUR, a buyer will need to use Lithuanian post or express couriers’ services.
It is worth mentioning that if a buyer wants to declare and pay import VAT himself, he must inform carriers, shipping the goods (Lithuanian post, DHL, UPS, etc.), he will handle that import procedure. Express couriers can be informed by logging into buyers’ accounts held with express courier; Lithuanian post will have to be notified by submitting an online form https://www.post.lt/lt/deklaravimas.
In addition, a buyer will need to apply for EORI number which can be received through the Common User Management Portal (BAP) utterly free of charge. EORI number is a unique identification number for businesses or individuals used in European Union to import into EU. To use BAP, the user has to register and verify himself through Lithuanian E-Government Gateway. Once registration and verification are complete, purchaser of the goods can submit an EORI application. EORI number is usually issued within one workday.