FLEX_Deutschland_AtlanticOne-1024x612

FLEX warehouse in Germany is open for B2B/B2C shipments

The process of setting up a new FLEX warehouse in Germany (Deutschland) has been completed and beginning Aug 1st, 2022 the new DE warehouse location is able to start processing in/out shipments.

FLEX. is able to provide you with anything from pre-Amazon storage, customs clearance in Germany, forwarding to Amazon fulfillment centers, B2B fulfillment, processing removals/returns with a local German address, FBA prep and more. From a single box shipments, a few EURO pallets to several 40ft HQ containers.

B2C fulfillment will be available by the end of August 2022.

The address of the 1st FLEX warehouse in Germany is:
FLEX. Logistik at Altantic One / JadeWeserPort, Atlantik 1, 26388 Wilhelmshaven (aka ‘Hamburg West’), Germany
Geo location: 53.58211449246432, 8.135395569140018

The warehouse is located in the container port in Wilhelmshaven which is the only deep water sea container terminal in Germany, 3rd largest container port in DE at the moment, which is going to take over lots of cargo volume from Hamburg and Bremerhaven in the next 1-2 years due to severe delays in those two.

The warehouse is located only 200 (two hundred, sic!) meteres from the ports’ gate and a local customs office, with a direct access to A29 highway, in a brand new 12k sqm building – Atlantik One: https://www.atlanticone.de/

Distances to Amazon and some other main container terminals in Europe:

  • from Bremerhaven, DE – 80 km, 1 hour drive
  • from Hamburg, DE – 200 km, 2 hour drive
  • from Rotterdam, DE – 375 km, 4 hour drive
  • from Antwerpen, BE – 450 km, 5 hour drive
  • to Amazon Dortmund – 270 km, 3 hour drive

Please feel free to reach out to us when looking for e-commerce logistics solutions in Germany, the new FLEX warehouse address will be activated on your account in myFLEX.

taxes-imports-duties

How to import products into the EU for e-commerce?

If you are a non-EU established company, for example your company is registered in the UK, Hong Kong, United States etc, even if you have EORI EU and VAT registration numbers in several countries in the European Union, there are several additional limitations you need to be aware of once you start importing your products into the EU and sell them online on Amazon and all the other e-commerce marketplaces in the EU. Some solutions may work in a small scale, some are only designed for large scale business, some work if you import only a few shipments a year, the other are economical only for several containers per year.

There are several limitations for non-EU companies to import and do business in the EU – the only long term solution is to set up a company in the EU, in one of the EUROzone countries and register it for VAT EU and EORI EU numbers

How do import into the European Union as a non-EU established company and save on import VAT?

Solution 1.
Fiscal customs clearance in the Netherlands
It requires you find a company within the EU, who will take responsibility for all imports, VAT and duties settlements, for the period of 6 years;
or the customs agency in NL will require you set up a customs security – 5-50k and above EUR depending on your sales volume, type of goods being imported etc.

To set up an indirect fiscal representation in the NL, it takes even 2-3 months, you will be asked to provide your company’s financial records, bank statements etc – your application can still be rejected.

If your company is allowed to do fiscal customs clearance in NL, you will also may be required to get registered for VAT NL in order to activated so called Article 23. Each shipment with fiscal customs clearance in NL requires the goods to be moved outside of NL straight after the customs clearance in completed (FLEX can offer to receive your shipments from NL to our DE warehouse). Your goods cannot stay in NL.

Solution 2.
Standard customs clearance in the Netherlands
It requires you to pay VAT NL, which – without VAT NL registration – you won’t be able to claim back later on.

Solution 3.
Importing into the European Union via Germany
For non-EU companies German customs allow for up to 10 imports a year using EORI EU number; but the imports have to be done on a occasional basis, so if you ship week after week, the 2nd shipment can be rejected; if you plan to ship several regular shipments via DE and clear the customs in DE, you have to establish a indirect fiscal representation in Germany – the procedure is similar to NL and several additional requirements apply including security deposit.

Max number of imports via DE for non-EU company per year is valid both for a standard customs clearance (where you pay import VAT DE) and fiscal customs clearance (where you don’t pay import VAT and the goods are moved to another country straight after).

Solution 4.
Importing via Poland

You can clear the customs in PL using your EORI EU and VAT EU numbers without much hassle, but if you do not have VAT PL number, you won’t be able to claim the import VAT back later on.

If you have VAT PL you have used for the customs clearance in PL, you still have to have a local PLN bank account number in Polish zloty – PL tax office do not issue VAT returns on bank accounts outside of PL and in different currencies than PLN; tax return in EUR is not possible; there are few banks in PL who offer PLN accounts for non-EU companies but company’s director may be required to visit a local branch in Poland at least once to sign the paperwork and provide his ID in person

Based on the above, the simpliest long term solution for large scale imports into the EU, several containers a year/month – is a local company in on of the EU countries with EORI EU and VAT EU numbers.

NOTE: All the information above is provided based on our experience and a feedback from several customs agencies in PL, NL, DE. The only way to obtain binding decisions on the customs clearance rules in the EU, is by applying to local customs offices in those countries on paper, providing them with all the details and waiting for 2-3 months for their official decision.

import vat

New VAT EU rules on imports starting July 01, 2021

VAT (Value Added Tax) rules on online sales are going to change on July 1st, 2021. Be sure to consider the following changes when making a purchase online from a seller based outside the EU like e.g. China because it will impact the final cost of your products.

Option 1
You will pay duty and VAT on your imports into the EU

The VAT exemption for imports valued of up to 22 EUR will no longer be valid.

Till July 1st, 2021 if you purchase a product of a value of up to 22 EUR, you don’t pay import VAT when clearing the customs on imports into the EU.

Starting July 1st, 2021 such clearance will add fees to your purchase – you will have to pay import VAT (most often standard rate of around 18-24% depending on the EU country you import to) and import duty (which is usually around another 3-20% depending on the type of product being imported; import duty rates are the same in all EU countries).

Option 2
Your seller will pay import VAT and duty for you on your imports into the EU

Your overseas seller may decide to register for so call IOSS – Import One-Stop-Shop which is an online platform introduced by the European Union, where foreign e-commerce businesses can register to pay import VAT and duty for you and other buyers located in the EU.

When you buy a product online which is going to be shipped from e.g. China, your Chinese seller can register for IOSS and include the VAT in the retail price.

OISS is intended for products / sales valued up to 150 EUR.

Starting July 1st, 2021 when you receive a request from your courier company to pay import VAT and duty on your shipment from e.g. China, it will mean that:

  • the seller is not registered for the IOSS platform
  • the shipping documents are not complete
  • the value of the goods in higher than 150 EUR

Please make sure to contact your foreign seller before you make a purchase, to determine if VAT and duty charges are already included in your retail price.

warehouse ecommerce

FLEX. Fulfillment welcomes all new clients

For the past few months we have been working hard on scaling up our B2C fulfillment capabilities – both on the software part, workforce and storage space.

I am happy to inform we have successfully implemented and tested a scalable, automatic order processing software which allow us to provide our clients with B2C fulfillment services for Amazon, eBay, Allegro, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Shopify, Magento and many more marketplaces and e-commerce web engines, which works with courier integration, ERP systems etc as well.

FLEX. Fulfillment is now open for new clients!

Please feel free to contact us with any of your B2C fulfillment needs in the EU.