As of July 1, imports of any product into Portugal from outside the EU will carry a mandatory value-added tax (VAT) regardless of value, Jornal Económicio reports. The government’s aim is to push consumers to buy from within the block and to mandate transparency about the shipper’s location, even in the cases when the price paid already includes all tax charges.
Currently, if the value of the purchase is less than 22€, the item is exempt from VAT no matter its origins, but Portuguese authorities decided to revisit the rule due to the sharp increase in online shopping in Portugal brought on, at least in part, by the pandemic.
The standard VAT in mainland Portugal is 23% (it’s 22% in Madeira and 18% in the Açores). Books and periodicals, however, are taxed at a reduced rate of 6% on the mainland (and 5% and 4% on Madeira and in the Açores respectively).
Portuguese lawmakers hope to minimize tax evasion and simplify the administrative and bureaucratic procedures that companies selling products to more than one European Union country currently face, as VAT regulations differ between them depending on the product sold, according to Jornal Económico.
And bad news for Bezos: the new rules also affect digital platforms like Amazon, Worten, Fnac, and Ebay, as now, it is the platform’s responsibility to settle VAT on sales up to 150 euros, not the vendors’ showcased within it. Once over this amount, the selling company is responsible for paying the tax.
In the case of imported goods purchased directly from a brand’s website, postal operators will be asked to settle the VAT for shipments up to 150 euros.