What is Intrastat and what does it involve?


As a rule, trade between the countries of the European Union resembles normal domestic transactions - there are no customs duties and additional obligations. Nevertheless, it may also happen that entrepreneurs making intra-Community acquisitions and deliveries will be required to report them in the Intrastat system created for statistical purposes.

What is Intrastat?

Intrastat is a statistical system with which it is possible to collect information and determine the status of intra-community transactions. Since the Community obligation for this type of exchange has been abolished, the offices have been deprived of the primary source of such data. Information is reported by economic operators using the Intrastat-Export declaration and the Intrastat-Import declaration.

Who is subject to Intrastat?

Why then is Intrastat not more popular and known to entrepreneurs? This is due to the fact that not everyone who carries out intra-EU transactions is required to submit information declarations. According to the regulations, the obligation to provide such information rests with natural or legal persons and organizational units without legal personality who are VAT taxpayers and exchange with other European countries, who have exceeded certain established thresholds. Such thresholds are announced for each tax year by the President of the Central Statistical Office.

An entrepreneur will have to get acquainted with the Intrastat system when in a given tax year its export or import exceeds any of the above thresholds, or when such an excess will occur in relation to contributions from the current year, even though the transactions relate to the previous year. Importantly, a taxpayer exceeding the threshold, e.g. only for export, must submit an information declaration only in this regard, not taking into account the import.

How do basic and detailed thresholds differ? In the case of the former, the entrepreneur provides more general data on his transactions with other EU countries in the declaration. This information includes:

  • reporting period,

  • type of declaration,

  • the code of the customs chamber to which the Intrastat declaration is addressed,

  • consignee on arrival, consignor on export,

  • the representative, if the application is made by him,

  • total invoice value in Polish zlotys,

  • total number of items

  • item number,

  • description of the product,

  • consignment country code for import or destination country code for export,

  • transaction type code,

  • bar code,

  • net weight,

  • quantity in supplementary unit of measurement,

  • invoice value in Polish zlotys,

  • filling.

However, when it comes to a taxpayer who has exceeded the detailed thresholds, in addition to filling in the above-mentioned items in the declaration, he must also add data on:

  • total statistical value in Polish zlotys,

  • terms of delivery code,

  • type of transport code,

  • the statistical value in Polish zlotys.

How and where to submit Intrastat declarations?

In Poland, the authority competent to provide information under the system is the Customs Chamber in Szczecin. Declarations may be submitted both in electronic and paper form, on special forms. Importantly, an entrepreneur choosing an electronic form may choose its various routes - via the Internet, but also on a CD-ROM or floppy disk.

In the case of Intrastat information, the settlement period is the calendar month during which the entrepreneur made an intra-Community acquisition or delivery. The entity has until the 10th day of the month following the month it concerns to submit the declaration. A taxpayer may also choose to submit partial information for periods shorter than a month. However, it is then necessary to ensure that such partial forms together cover the entire reporting period.

In practice, therefore, submitting statistical information to Intrastat does not differ much from the usual declarations that entrepreneurs are obliged to submit as part of their business. Therefore, it is not a particularly onerous obligation and it is worth remembering about it, because the penalty for failure to perform or improper fulfillment of obligations may become onerous. In such a situation, the customs authority provides the taxpayer with three reminders, and if they act, it imposes a fine of PLN 3,000 for each period (month) in which the entrepreneur failed to fulfill his obligations.