Documents confirming the export of goods and intra-community deliveries


Polish entrepreneurs deciding to run a business and trade with foreign contractors as part of these transactions may supply or purchase goods.

And so in the case of sale of goods to foreign entities, we are dealing with an intra-Community supply of goods (WDT) or an export of goods. Classification of a shipment under one of these categories generally depends on whether the goods are exported to another EU member state or to a non-EU country.

WDT- intra-community delivery of goods

The intra-community delivery of goods is the export of goods from the territory of Poland to other member states of the European Union. This definition results from Art. 13 sec. 1 of the Act on tax on goods and services of March 11, 2004.

In order for a supply to be considered as intra-Community supply, both parties to the transaction, both the supplier and the buyer, must be EU VAT taxpayers defined for the purposes of intra-Community transactions (excluding new means of transport and excise goods).

After meeting certain conditions, WDT is subject to VAT at a preferential rate of 0%.As a result of its application, the seller is left with the transaction free of VAT, with the possibility of deducting the input tax shown in the purchase invoices relating to this transaction.

Such taxation requires the fulfillment of the following conditions, specified in art. 42 sec. 1 of the VAT Act:

  • the invoice stating the intra-Community supply shows the correct and valid EU EU VAT numbers of the buyer and supplier. To confirm that both we and the buyer are active EU VAT taxpayers, please print the VIES system confirmation)
  • before the expiry of the deadline for submitting a tax declaration for a given tax period, the taxpayer making the delivery had documents confirming that the goods being the subject of the intra-Community supply of goods were exported from the territory of the country and delivered to the buyer to the territory of an EU Member State other than Poland.

Evidence that the taxpayer should collect in order to confirm the WDT has been completed:

  • when the transport of the goods has been commissioned to the carrier, the taxpayer should have documents clearly confirming the delivery of the goods to the place of its destination in the territory of a country other than Poland being a member of the EU, or
  • when the goods were transported by the buyer or supplier by their own means of transport, the taxpayer must have documents confirming the identification data of both the supplier and the recipient and the address to which the delivery was made, specification of the goods and their quantity, confirmation of receipt of the goods by the buyer and data identifying the means of transport

- a copy of the invoice and specification of individual cargo items.

Supporting documents:

  • business correspondence with the buyer, including his order
  • insurance documents
  • documents confirming payment for the goods
  • proof of acceptance by the buyer of the goods in the territory of a Member State other than Poland

The list of evidence confirming the intra-Community supply of goods is not exhaustive, therefore all documentation related to a given delivery should be collected.

Export of goods

The VAT Act clearly defines the concept of export. Pursuant to Art. 2 clause 8 of the Act, export is understood as the export of goods from the territory of a country outside the territory of the European Union, confirmed by the customs office specified in customs regulations, if the export is made by:

  • a supplier or on his behalf (direct export), or
  • a buyer established outside the territory of the country or on its behalf, with the exception of goods exported by the buyer himself for the purpose of equipping or supplying recreational craft and tourist aircraft or other means of transport for private purposes (indirect export).

In order for a taxpayer to be able to accept a preferential 0% rate for exports, several conditions related to the export of goods must be met:

  • such exports must take place outside the territory of the European Union
  • such export is certified by the customs office of the exit of the goods
  • the export was made by (or on behalf of) the supplier or by (or on behalf of) a buyer established outside the country.

The export must be properly documented:

  • direct export: IE-599 message - "Export confirmation" in the electronic ECS system or original card 3 of the SAD document
  • indirect export: a copy of the printout of the IE-599 message - "Confirmation of export" in the ECS system (with the stamp of the customs office and signature on it) or a copy of card 3 of the SAD document

These documents must show the identity of the goods being the subject of delivery and exportation.