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1. Legal framework of intrastat

First of all, provision of intra-EU trade statistics (or Intrastat legislation) allow member states to choose, to a large extent, how to implement the Intrastat system. For example, which trade data to collect from the parties responsible for providing the statistical information (PSIs) and how.

Two regulations are in force:

1.1 Basic regulation

First, basic regulation coverage include, Regulation (EC) No 638/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council amended by Regulation (EC) No 222/2009 of the European Parliament. Also, of the Council Commission Regulation (EU) No 1093/2013 Regulation (EC) No 659/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council.

1.2 Implementing provisions

Second, implementing provisions include Commission Regulation (EC) No 1915/2005 amending Commission Regulation (EC) No 1982/2004. Furthermore, Commission Regulation (EU) No 91/2010 and Commission Regulation (EU) No 96/2010. Also, Commission Regulation (EU) No 1093/2013. This set of legal acts refers to as ‘Intrastat legislation’. The legal texts are available in full on the ‘Legislation’ page of the ‘International trade in goods’ section. You can find this information on the Eurostat website.

2. Who is liable for declaration?

Third, Intrastat stands for Intra-Community Trade Statistics given to the system that collects statistics on the trade in goods between member states. Furthermore, Intrastat replaces customs declarations as a source of trade statistics within the EU. Also, it exists throughout the EU and requirements are similar for all member states.

Intra-EU trade statistics are compiled from the Supplementary Declarations and estimations made using the information on VAT Returns.

All VAT liable taxpayers must file the Intrastat recapitulative statement on a monthly basis, providing that they have met the exemption threshold.

Also, those liable businesses must, over a legally set threshold, provide more detailed information on Intrastat. The application of the simplification threshold as defined in Article 10(5) of Regulation (EC) No 638/2004 is optional. As a result, it allows traders, whose annual trade value is above the exemption threshold but below the simplification threshold, to provide only a limited set of data or use a simplified commodity code.

3. Explanations

Fourth, the Intrastat system characteristics are as follows

  • data is directly collected from intra-EU trade operators once a month;
  • it interlinks closely with the VAT system relating to intra-EU trade to ensure the completeness and quality of the statistical data; and
  • a system of thresholds simplifies data provision and reduces the overall burden on traders, particularly small ones.


While a dispatch declaration must be presented when transactions involving the release of goods to other EU countries to the value, once it reaches the legally set threshold were carried out in the prior year. Henceforth, a declaration must also be presented when this accumulated amount is reached during the same year.



Also, an introductory statement must also be presented when transactions involving the entry of goods from other EU countries have been carried out in the prior year, once it reaches the legally set threshold. Henceforth, a declaration must also be presented when this accumulated amount is reached during the same year.

Article 9 of Regulation (EC) No 638/2004

Finally, Article 9 of Regulation (EC) No 638/2004 defines the data elements that the national authorities need to collect:

  1. the individual identification number allocated to the party responsible for providing information in accordance with Article 214 of Directive 2006/112/EC (VAT number);
  2. the reference period;
  3. the flow (intra-EU arrivals, intra-EU dispatches);
  4. the commodity, identified by the eight-digit CN code;
  5. the partner member state;
  6. the value of the goods, being the taxable amount or the invoice value;
  7. the quantity of the goods; also,
  8. the nature of the transaction.

Furthermore, parties required to present declarations in a specific flow, who do not carry out any transactions for one month, must present a zero-transaction declaration for that month.

Henceforth, please note that some EU countries mix Statistic Declarations with European Community Sales List (ECSL), information declaration. In such cases (for example, France’s DEB), the trader will have to provide more information on the periodical report.

Also, please note that no exemption is explicitly given to Business to Consumer deliveries. However, the trader must provide Statistic Declaration for such transactions, unless the trader has receipt of a written agreement by the local competent authority.

Therefore, you can find two very complete sets of information that deeply cover this subject: