Any introduction of goods into the European Union which, in accordance with customs regulations, are not in free circulation within the territory of the European Union is subject to VAT and is considered an import of goods. Pursuant to amendments to the Value Added Tax Act (Official Gazette, No 73/13, 99/13, 148/13, 153/13, 143/14, 115/16, 106/18, 121/19, and 138/20 – hereinafter referred to as the VAT Act) of 1 January 2021, it is possible to administer VAT on import on an accrual basis when importing goods of all kinds and values. These changes have enabled a significant reduction in the burden on companies’ financial resources. VAT upon import is considered paid if the taxable person requests such a method of calculation and payment of VAT through a customs declaration and states it in full as a liability in the VAT return. The application of this method of settling VAT upon import is not mandatory.
CONDITIONS AND MANNER OF SUBMITTING THE APPLICATION
All undertakings entered in the VAT register that have the right to a deduction of input tax in full are entitled to use it, including foreign taxable persons, provided that they are entered in the register of VAT payers in the Republic of Croatia and assigned a VAT identification number. If the above conditions are met, the taxable person, through their customs representative issues a request for this method of VAT settlement on import by duly completing the customs declaration for the release of goods for free circulation. After accepting the declaration, the competent customs office verifies the taxable person’s entry in the Register of VAT payers and whether the taxable person is entitled to a deduction of input tax in full. The corresponding import duties – customs, VAT, special taxes and excise duties are calculated in the standard prescribed manner, but the amount of calculated VAT is marked in the declaration with the code B00*. This code indicates that the calculated VAT on import is not settled together with other customs duties, but is exclusively declared through the VAT return. In addition to the proper completion of the customs declaration, taxable persons should properly declare this method of settlement in the VAT return. VAT upon import must be stated in the VAT form as a liability under point II.15 and in the same VAT return under point III.14. as input tax upon import.
EXEMPTIONS FROM APPLICATION
VAT upon import on an accrual basis cannot be applied in two cases. The first case is when submitting a declaration for release for free circulation of low-value consignments up to HRK 160.00. As of 1 July 2021, the hitherto valid VAT exemption on import of the said consignments was revoked and new import procedures apply – a special taxation procedure for the distance sales of goods imported from third countries and a special procedure for declaring and paying VAT on imports. The second case concerns the filing of a declaration for goods in postal consignments.