Export invoice - everything you need to know


The export of goods concerns the sale of goods outside the European Union, which is subject to tax on goods and services. Provided that the appropriate conditions are met, this sale benefits from taxation at the 0% rate. Let's check what an export invoice should contain!

Export goods in the VAT Act

The export of goods is an activity that is treated specifically in VAT. It is the sale of goods, which in practice is subject to tax on goods and services, but - after meeting certain conditions - benefits from taxation at the 0% rate - pursuant to Art. 41 sec. 4 of the VAT Act.

According to the definition presented in the VAT Act, the export of goods is the export of goods sent or transported from the territory of Poland outside the territory of the European Union, confirmed by the customs office, in the performance of the activities specified in art. 2 clause 8, if the export is effected by:

  • a supplier or on his behalf (direct export), or
  • a buyer established outside the territory of the country or on its behalf (indirect export), excluding 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,

if the export of goods outside the territory of the European Union is confirmed by the competent customs authority specified in the customs regulations.

It follows from the aforementioned definition that the recognition of an operation as an export of goods requires all conditions related to the export to be met, namely the export:

  • takes place from Poland outside the territory of the European Union,
  • is made as part of the delivery of goods,
  • has been certified by the customs office specified in the customs regulations,
  • was made by the supplier (or on his behalf) or by a buyer established outside Poland (or on his behalf.

It should be remembered that the application of the 0% tax rate may be used, provided that the taxpayer received a document confirming the export of goods outside the territory of the European Union before the deadline for submitting a tax declaration for a given tax period.

So how should the seller issue a VAT invoice documenting the sale of goods to a contractor from the European Union?

Export invoice - rules for issuing

As a general rule, the taxpayer should issue an invoice no later than on the 15th day of the month following the month in which the goods were delivered or the service was performed, with the exceptions included in Art. 106i paragraph. 2-8 of the VAT Act. In the case of continuous sale (for a period longer than one year), the invoice specifies only the month and year of sale, the invoice shall be issued no later than on the 15th day from the end of the month in which the sale was made. If, on the other hand, before the goods are delivered or the service is rendered, the invoice is also issued not later than on the 15th day from the day on which part or all of the amount due from the buyer was received. Therefore, the export invoice is issued on the same principles and contains the same elements as a regular VAT invoice.

If, for various reasons, the sale must be corrected with a credit note, the taxpayer who exports the goods has certain privileges here: the obligation to have a credit note confirmation does not apply to the export of goods. In this case, the receipt of the confirmation of receipt of the correcting invoice does not affect the correction settlement period.

In practice, it often happens that the seller wants to make it easier for the contractor to book the invoice and adjust it to the customer's needs, while maintaining all elements of the VAT invoice provided for in Polish law. Invoices in a foreign language (mainly in English) and an invoice in euro are very popular among entities making transactions with foreign clients. As a result, the contractor has no problems with translating it and converting the transaction value into the currency of his country (it is worth emphasizing that most EU countries use the euro).

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Issuing an export invoice in the wFirma.pl system

To issue a sales invoice for a foreign contractor in the wFirma.pl system, go to the REVENUE »SALE» EXHIBITION »INVOICE tab, where you must fill in the required fields. When completing the basic data, pay special attention to the recipient's address (selecting the country correctly) and NIP number. Then go to the ADVANCED tab and select the appropriate currency and language in which the document is to be issued. You should also remember to mark the appropriate VAT rate. In the case of export of goods, i.e. sale of goods outside the EU countries, mark 0% Exp.

The seller may apply this rate provided that he has a document confirming the export of goods from the so-called country. SAD or electronic PZC document.

On the printed document, the invoice amount will be shown in both currencies. The foreign currency will be automatically converted into Polish zlotys at the average exchange rate of the National Bank of Poland from the last business day preceding the sale date or the invoice issue date, whichever is earlier.

The export invoice will be automatically entered in the Polish currency to the VAT sales register and to the column 7 of the KPiR or Revenue Register (in the case of a lump sum).