Everyone that deals with the tasks of a functioning trade in goods as part of their everyday business is quite familiar with intra-trade statistics. Increased requirements for data security, for Brexit and other mandatory disclosures require a redesigned process of how data is transmitted to the German Federal Statistical Office. In concrete terms, this means that a number of changes are due this year and will have to be implemented by companies.
The aim of intra-trade statistics is to provide a comprehensive presentation of the actual movement of goods between Germany and the other EU member states. This data is the basis for far-reaching analyses by European community bodies, governments and business associations as well as market research institutes for analyses of European competitiveness, economic and trade policy as well as scientific development-oriented purposes. Based on European legal regulations and supplemented by national laws, companies in Germany are obliged to submit a monthly listing of the actual trade in goods to the German Federal Statistical Office. This Intrastat report must be submitted by any natural or legal person with a German tax number who enters into a contract for the shipment of goods within the EU. The declaration must be submitted in an exclusively electronic form using the online procedures provided by the German Federal Statistical Office. These online forms contain defined fields that need to be filled in according to the specifications.
The year 2021 is marked by adaptation, and this particularly concerns the correct statistical recording of all intra-community trade data. Some current points that directly affect the Intrastat reporting are:
The exit of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland as well as the expiration of the transitional period on December 31, 2020, both point to far-reaching changes in the movement of goods. The previous Intrastat declaration is no longer required; instead, time-consuming customs declarations are now necessary. Northern Ireland is exempt from this regulation, the Intrastat declarations remain mandatory.
As of January 2022, it will be mandatory to provide the VAT identification numbers of EU trading partners. Therefore, the strict data security regulations necessitate a replacement of the previous ASCII format used for electronic Intrastat declarations. The XML formats INSTAT/XML and DatML/RAW approved by the German Federal Statistical Office are already available in the reporting procedures. Importing the data in CSV format is a further option to transmit data.
The changes to the EU VAT reform (quick fixes) that have been effective since 01.01.2020 are aimed at harmonizing and simplifying the inconsistent trade regulations across Europe, as well as increasing the level of fraud protection. This results in changes for intra-community trade statistics with regard to the disclosure obligation for conditions of tax exemption for intra-community deliveries, intra-community transactions involving so-called consignment stores, and intra-community chain transactions.
Other changes – such as a modified layout of the online declaration forms for goods shipments concerning intra-trade statistics, or supplementary information on the lists of goods – offer further user-friendly assistance. But the biggest challenge for companies is to integrate this legally required information into their existing systems and processes. In doing so, it is essential to ensure that all data content is correct and valid, and that this sensitive information is handled securely and in compliance with data protection regulations.
Solutions with potential
Every innovation also holds the potential of an opportunity – in this case a sustainable improvement can be the result. The strict legal requirements of intra-trade statistics constitute the basis for strategic considerations of economic interrelationships. In turn, these findings enable companies to determine their position on the market, to recognize potentials and to seize opportunities. With our approach of a Business Process Excellence, PROMATIS is your competent partner for this purpose. We do not settle for the integration of legal requirements into the systems and an adapted business process, but look beyond the horizon and consider the potential of permanent adaptations that extend far beyond use and monitoring – as early as during the implementation stage. This holistic Business Process Management (BPM) becomes the focus of Excellence programs, and turns a strict requirement into a comprehensive opportunity for the entire company.
PROMATIS Best Practice – proven methodology with innovative approach
The Best Practice Solutions of PROMATIS place the benefit of the customer in the center of the established solutions. In particular, DataSmart, a new generation data extrusion tool, was developed to meet the flexible requirements of modern companies, and scores with its innovative yet pragmatic methodology. Specifically for the mandatory changes in Intrastat reporting, a solution was developed that can be implemented quickly, easily and, above all, validly – for both on premise and cloud systems. The side effect of this solution is the modular system architecture, because it allows you to expand further modules at any time and precisely in line with your focal points, and create a holistic and systematic solution with no effort.
The new Intrastat declaration is coming to us one way or another, but take the chance and enter into the new world of a systematic and transparent digitization.
Author: Claus Engel
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