Court of Auditors Special Report no 12/2019: E-commerce: many of the challenges of collecting VAT and customs duties remain to be resolved

1. This is a report from the European Court of Auditors on the EU’s effectiveness in collecting VAT and Customs Duty in relation to e-commerce. The report highlights that there are still challenges in collecting both VAT and Customs duty in relation to e-commerce.

2. VAT and Customs Duty become due when goods and services are traded via e-commerce across borders. The report examines the system for the taxation of VAT and customs duties on cross border supplies of goods traded over the internet as set out in the VAT and customs legislation. It also looks at the new system for the taxation of VAT on cross-border supplies of e-commerce digital services, which entered into force at the beginning of 2015. Finally, it reviews the proposals made by the Commission and the legislation adopted by the Council under the 2017 ‘VAT e-commerce package’, which is planned for implementation in 2021.

3. The report examines whether the European Commission has established a sound regulatory and control framework on e-commerce with regard to the collection of VAT and customs duties, and whether Member States’ control measures help ensure the complete collection of VAT and customs duties in respect of e-commerce.

Topic  EU Audits 
Department  HMT 
Council Reference   
COM Reference   
SEC Reference   
PE Cons   
JOIN   
SWD   
C Reference   

Associated file(s)


  1. ECA Report - 3 MB - pdf
  2. EM CoA Report - 226 KB - pdf

Search by reference numbers or topic