European trade: reporting requirements

European EC sales lists

Completing a European EC sales list (ESL) is a requirement for VAT-registered charities that sell goods to customers registered for VAT in another EU member state.

Submitting a simplified annual ESL may be agreed with HMRC if the value of such sales is less than £11,000 in a twelve-month period, total taxable turnover in a year is not more than £145,000 and the sales do not include New Means of Transport. Since 1 January 2010 ESLs have applied to services with a place of supply in the customer’s Member State, as well as to goods.


VAT registered charities must record the value of goods supplied to and acquired from other Member States. If the annual value of these “dispatches” or “acquisitions” exceeds the threshold (currently £250,000 and £1,500,000) the charity will need to start completing supplementary declarations (“Intrastat returns”).

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