Import Turnover Tax: competitive disadvantages for Germany minimized

As long as 19 years ago, Hellmann wrote an open letter to politicians calling for a change in the import turnover tax in Germany. The previous regulation of import turnover tax tied up a lot of liquidity. Although the tax has been refunded later in most cases, it represented a temporary disadvantage in the import of goods compared to other European ports. Gradually, this situation is now being improved by the German Federal Ministry of Finance.

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On December 1st, 2020, a new regulation came into effect that shifts the due date of import VAT to the 26th of the month after next. As an "extended deadline solution", the adopted variant prevents the often criticized necessary interim financing and can even lead to a temporary strengthening of liquidity. The amendment eliminates a competitive disadvantage of German logistics locations, which came into play when interest rates were high or liquidity was scarce, as we have seen during the financial crisis.

Reiner Heiken gives a statement for media representatives. The Hellmann CEO emphasizes the importance of the new import VAT regulation for Germany as a business location.

Press event at Hellmann in Hamburg

At a press event with high-ranking representatives from politics and business on June 30th at our Hamburg branch, Hellmann was now used as an example to discuss the advantages that forwarders enjoy as a result of the new import VAT regulation.

"The new regulation is an important step towards strengthening Germany as a logistics location. Together, we must do everything we can to offer an efficient infrastructure, high-quality services, and lean, digitized administrative processes," said Reiner Heiken, CEO Hellmann Worldwide Logistics.  

Other voices:

Senator Michael Westhagemann: "The period solution is already able to significantly weaken the disadvantage. The advantage of the deadline solution was that it could be implemented immediately, whereas the introduction of a settlement model would have taken years. There was also still the risk that the change might not have happened at all. Nevertheless, we are continuing to work on improving the regulation, of course. I would like to expressly thank the Federal Ministry of Finance for this."

Finance Senator Andreas Dressel: "Together, we put pressure on the Finance Ministers' and Economics Ministers' Conference. The Federal Ministry of Finance has thankfully included it as a tax measure for the Corona aid. Today we can see quite directly: Hamburg's logistics and maritime industries, in particular, are benefiting from the new regulation. The liquidity benefits for the companies from the postponement of the due dates run into the billions - this helps a lot in the Corona crisis and gives us the further impetus for the new start."

Dr. Rolf Bösinger, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Finance, said, "Hamburg generates around 12 billion euros in import sales tax annually - around 20% of the total in Germany. The introduction of the deadline solution in December 2020 has led to a positive liquidity effect for companies and improved the competitive situation of German ports, airports and logistics locations compared to their European competitors."

Katja Siefke

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