E-Commerce, VAT | 24. June 2021

Lea’s VAT rules Update for June

A single market with many rules: Identical product groups are subject to different tax rates in EU countries. by

Leas VAT Update Juni

With the VAT Rules Update, I provide information on rules that often seem confusing and difficult to understand for consumers and traders alike. The current issue brings together a number of products that could not be more different: Compression stockings, bicycle helmets and fertilisers.

Compression stockings in Portugal, Slovenia and Slovakia

In Portugal, Slovenia and Slovakia, compression stockings and tights are taxed at a reduced VAT rate. The Portuguese require compression of at least 20 mmHG to qualify for the VAT reduction, for Slovenia it must be at least 18 mmHG. Slovakia is not so fussy and generally reduces the VAT rate on all compression stockings and tights. But beware, varicose vein stockings are treated differently!

Bicycle helmets in Greece, Ireland and Luxemburg

Safety first! Greece taxes bicycle helmets for children and adults at a reduced VAT rate of 13%. Northern Ireland goes one step further with a VAT rate of 0%. The Republic of Ireland and Luxembourg also value safety. But be careful – the Republic of Ireland only reduces VAT on bicycle helmets for children aged 0 to 10 inclusive, while Luxembourg taxes bicycle helmets for children aged 0 to 13 inclusive at a reduced VAT rate.

Fertilisers in Germany, Austria and Ireland

VAT Rates are applied differently to animal or plant fertilisers that have been authourised by the EU. Germany and Austria apply their reduced VAT rates only to fertilisers that have not been chemically treated and do not contain guano. The Republic of Ireland has a different approach: animal and plant fertilisers are taxed at the reduced VAT rate of 0% only if they are sold in packages of at least 10 kg.

eClear offers the ideal solution with VATRules

Is the sale of goods taxable or tax-free? Which tax rate is applicable? – Regular, reduced or super-reduced? Which exemptions and re-exemptions apply? VATRules applies this tax content in your ERP or shop system. Article-specific, always up-to-date, and for all EU-27 plus UK.


Lea-Luisa Blase
Lea-Luisa Blase successfully completed her master's degree in business and tax law at the University of Potsdam. She then worked as a tax assistant at BDO AG Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft. As an editorial project manager, she then expanded her profession at an online seminar provider specifically for the tax sector and is currently employed at eClear as a VAT consultant in the internal tax department. She also prepares the content for the eClear VATRules, which contain more than 1.2 million tax codes including all exceptions, reductions and exemptions.
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