On 2 December 2019, Council Directive 2019/1995, which seeks to introduce changes to the rules relating to distance sales, was published in the Official Journal. This publication follows the formal adoption by the Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council on 22 November 2019.

The changes to the distance sales provisions were first laid down and approved in 2017 and are due to enter into force in 2021. They clarify which member state will be administratively competent for a specific sale, and when an online platform (such as Amazon, E-bay or Alibaba) is to be considered as having a role in a sale and therefore ultimately responsible for ensuring the VAT is collected.

Following publication in the Official Journal, the Council Directive will enter into force on the 20th day after its publication (and the changes will apply from 1 January 2021). Member States will have to adopt and publish, by 31 December 2020 at the latest, the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with the Directive. 

The Directive can be viewed here