The future of RumAuctioneer

Oh boy, I didn’t know that! That means they half-assed the EU office thing (never officially registered a company here) and that comes back to bite them now :laughing:

I just always assumed they went all in, but it looks like they never did. Wasn’t even the UK government at some point advising Brexit troubled companies to register a subsidiary within the EU? :sweat_smile:

4 Likes

The EU lots were the majority, I think the number of lots will decrease significantly.

4 Likes

I think this is only half the story. The other half seems to be this:

If you sell excise goods online or by distance selling to a consumer in another EU country, excise duty is paid in the country of purchase (where you ship the goods to).

You are responsible for paying any excise duties owed. So, even if you have already paid the duties in your own country, you must also pay in the country of destination.

Getting duty reimbursed

You can request a refund from the authorities in the EU country where the excise duties were first released for consumption. To be eligible for a refund you must provide your own authority with:

  • details of the shipment, (including the destination country)
  • evidence that you paid duty on the goods in the destination country

Tax representative

You will usually have to appoint a tax representative in the EU country where you sell the excise goods. You should also check national excise procedures before dispatching goods to consumers.

Before shipping

Before you ship your goods you must:

  • inform the destination country’s responsible authority of the delivery
  • provide a guarantee that the excise duties will be paid
4 Likes

ich denke mal daß das mit dem neuen Plattform-Steuer-Transparenz-Gesetz (PStTG) zusammen hängt. Soweit mir bewußt ist, muß dann jede Plattform die Leute melden, die 30 oder mehr Produkte gekauft haben oder deren Kaufsumme 2000€ überschritt. Soll wohl dazu dienen, die ganzen “privaten” Verkäufer zu minimieren und sie dazu zu bewegen sich als gewerbliche Verkäufer anzumelden.

.

2 Likes

But this part applies to all, even within the EU and is the reason some shops stopped shipping alcohol within the EU a while back, methinks.

5 Likes

Ye what Kenny said. This is a matter of excise duty (“Verbrauchssteuer”) and has nothing to do with VATs.
This is a common “problem” in the EU, when it comes to goods which fall into the excise duty category like alkohol or tobacco for example. Every EU country got a different excise duty and thus it actually is really complex to trade alcohol between different EU countries. In fact, when us Germans buy Rum in France for example, the french shop would have to declare this to the German customs and pay the German excise duty for the alcohol. As far as I know, no one is doing this really up till now, because there was no real danger of getting caught. Same thing applies to German shops selling to other EU countries of course.
So, it should not affect rumauctioneer alone. It applies to any other auction site as well.

5 Likes

For quite a while LMDW has been collecting tax according to shipping destination (that’s why prices differ slightly when you’re logged in). Oldwhisky does, too (whiskyroundabout does not and has halted shipping within EU). Whiskytempel recently added a note that tax is applied according to destination.

It can very well be that different countries implemented the EU regulation before Germany (FR and IT probably did).

But in general this “issue” has been solved even by smaller shops and should not be the reason for RA to hoist the white flag – unless they’re really legal illiterates :grimacing:

3 Likes

No, you are talking about VAT. Lmdw always changes the french VAT 20% to the German VAT 19% for example, ye.
Excise duties are a different beast though and they only apply to certain goods like alcohol and tobacco for example.

4 Likes

But guys, we have the solution here… I mean the mutual help. I think you understand my point :wink:

10 Likes

Then why isn’t everyone (at least in Germany where this is law comes into force) selling alcohol within the EU affected? What you’re implying is that only RA seems to care. Haven’t read a peep about it anywhere… which is strange, given the implications.

Edit: coming back to the initial question

Nothing for me, since I don’t use RA :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
As for the rest… I’m sure others will happily step in :wink: As they say in RA home country: The king is dead, long live the king!

1 Like

Nein, damit hat das Ganze nichts zu tun. Denn dieses Gesetz hat keine steuerlichen Auswirkungen, es geht dabei nur um eine Meldepflicht. Auch wenn hier von einigen dieses Gesetz immer wie der Teufel an die Wand gemalt wird, hat diese Umsetzung der EU-Norm keine Auswirkung auf das Geschäft von Plattformen oder Privathändlern (wobei fragwürdig ist, ob RA sowieso als Plattform unter dieses Gesetz fallen würde, es geht dort eher um Ebay/Ebay Kleinanzeigen/Amazon/Amazon Marketplace). Es geht rein um eine Informationspflicht, um Powerseller ausfindig zu machen, die in Konkurrenz zu gewerblichen Händlern agieren.

RA führt explizit steuerliche Gründe an. Ich vermute daher entweder eine Unterbesetzung des Offices, wodurch sich nicht um den Papierkram der anfällt gekümmert werden kann oder um eine Unterschätzung der ganzen Brexit-Problematik, was auch darauf schließen ließe, daß es keine rechtliche Beratung gibt.

6 Likes

I have no idea, what this directive from the EU is changing and not really in the mood to dig deeper there :see_no_evil:
But as I said, afaik even before no German shop was officially allowed to sell alcohol to another EU country without paying the excise duty for the amount of ethanol in the rum/whisky/whatever to the customs office of the destination country. As far as I know, no one did though. Maybe this new directive comming into play with a new German law leads to more prosecution. As django said, it might also be connected to the new law regarding private sales in Germany. No idea. Just guessing.

3 Likes

Like Jonas said that is due to VAT differences between countries. About 20 years ago many (and I mean MANY) companies were registered in Luxembourg. At that time they had 15% VAT (16% now) so anything anyone sold through a company registered in LU could save 5-10% compared to any other EU country (mostly services but physical goods as well). The EU have since made a few tweaks here and there and started clamping down on the practice but here we are 20 yrs later and when a shop does different calculations based on destination country is still the exception rather than the norm.

As for RA they directly cite Council Directive 2020/262 which is exactly about (among other things) excise tax collection for intra-EU trade for goods. Of course this doesn’t make the reasons certain but why would they lie about it?

5 Likes

We’re in the same boat! I’m also just an armchair lawyer trying to make sense of this. Thinking of it, I have also typed more words than the topic merits, that’s why I will leave the field to more educated people. Eager to hear what others have to say.

As to RA:
December: 1452 lots (Christmas frenzy)
January: 921 lots
February: 400 lots???

2 Likes

Ok, I give you my rabbit hole take of what I see for the main Problem and why it is specifically a problem for RA in Germany.

The big change of the directive is that before it was only necessary to have the electronic certification on goods where excise tax was not yet applied. So for example alcohol is sent to the European Union and the alcohol excise tax is applied in the country of entry.

Now it is is necessary to have the electronic certification on the excise tax which still need to be applied in the country of delivery. But as people said this does not mean VAT. Now you need to have a certified receiver in the country who basically will guarantee that the excise tax is paid in that EU country in which a private buyer is located. It will also means, that you will get a refund on the original excise tax once the excise tax in the destination is paid. You do not need a person to actually be in the country but if not, you are automaticley responsible in what I understand to be a very hard way for paying up.

Now for the problem specifically for RA: other than a primary sale on a bottle that first leaves in a b2c manner, where the excise tax is paid for by the commercial seller. I would assume and for the German part would be quite certain, that RA just assumed that an EU excise tax was already paid for at one point. So they did not bother to have an ecms registration and just send stuff inside of the Union. With the change there now forced to actually check if when and how much of an excise tax was paid, that would mean to have somehow paid for that amount to actually get a refund once excise tax was paid again in the receiving party’s country.

So since they did not pay excise tax, they cannot get a refund simply by the shipment due to leaving the European Union or coming into it. They would basically have to pay the excise tax again (or somehow like it was the first time), and would simply fail to provide that information that is now needed, since they do not buy the bottle and will mostly fail to raise proof of the paid amount of excise tax.

This would also be a hint to why they specify that they now can only help sellers from Germany with the German office, because here the alcohol tax is a fixed amount that has only to do with the amount of vol% of pure alcohol. So now they can basically have a fiction the amount paid that would still be correct. This would not work with i.e. Italy with the tax banderoles.

I hope I made some sense.

TL;DR excise tax now needs electronic proof that it was paid before sending and need to be paid again in the destination after sending. You can get a return of the original tax, but since RA does not buy bottles, they have no proof of paying an excise tax, thus would have to pay excise tax in Germany before being able to send it abroad. They cannot so they can’t comply to the new directive.

13 Likes

Yep. It will be just a few brits flipping Foursquare bottles time and time again :see_no_evil:

7 Likes

I totally agree with you. Rumtrades will become the new Rum Auctioneer and I believe that the number of bottles they offer will rise significantly in the coming months. They will probably start whisky auctions before the end of the year.

2 Likes

Rumtrades will face the same problem as RA, but maybe the italian gov does not care about the EU directive. I don’t know.
The EU directive comes into action on 13.02. afaik.

3 Likes

Well, the Italian government is a mess and Italians are known to do as they seem fit :joy:
So maybe they won’t care and go on as they seem fit.

3 Likes

But the UK help is still a difficult task

1 Like