They are known as the 'Union', 'non-Union'
and 'import' schemes. The schemes are designed to facilitate the collection of
VAT by one EU member state, which is then passed on to the member state in
which the supply is deemed to take place.
The 'Union scheme' covers intra-EU supplies of goods and services for businesses with their place of business or a fixed establishment within the EU.
The Union scheme will also allow a UK business to hold stock within the EU (for example, the Netherlands) and pay VAT for all EU sales to the relevant tax authorities.
The 'non-Union scheme' covers supplies of services to EU customers by businesses with no establishment within the EU.
The 'import scheme' covers the distance sale of goods below €150 fulfilled from stock held outside the EU.
If businesses register for VAT using one of these schemes, they will complete one return for all EU sales, rather than being required to register for VAT in all member states in which their customers are based. These schemes will allow businesses to declare sales across all EU member states.