German Intrastat / EC Sales list

Intrastat is a system used to gather data and produce statistics about the goods moving between countries in the European Union’s Internal Market. This process helps track and understand the trading activities happening within the EU.

If a company in Germany is registered for VAT and sells products or services to a customer in another EU country who is also VAT-registered, it must inform the German Federal Tax Office about these sales.

GVC is here to help international sellers with following the VAT rules in Germany, making the process easier for them to handle their business smoothly.

VAT guides

German Intrastat

Intrastat is a mechanism for collecting information and creating statistics on the movement of commodities between member states of the European Union’s internal market (EU).

Type of Intrastat: Standard Return
Arrivals EUR 800,000
Dispatches EUR 500,000

If a company’s yearly revenue surpasses the mentioned thresholds, they must file an Intrastat report. This report should be submitted to the relevant officials within ten working days after the end of the reported month.

If there’s no received invoice, the goods declaration gets deferred to the next month. Should an invoice still not be received by the subsequent month, the system uses the purchase order to determine the goods’ value and logs the transaction.

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German EC Sales List

A company registered for VAT in Germany, when providing goods or services to a VAT-registered client in another EU nation, is obligated to inform the German Federal Tax Office (Bundeszentralamt für Steuern). This company is required to compile an EC Sales List (ESL) that lists every EU customer and describes the worth of goods and services supplied during that time frame.


The ESL details:

  • the customer
  • the relevant country codes
  • the value of goods or services
Frequency: Description
Monthly The total amount of ICS exceeds €50,000 in the current or any of the previous four quarters.
Quarterly The standard reporting period is the only period available for IC-supplies of services (exceptions apply).
Annually Businesses are allowed to file annual VAT returns only and not have more than €200,000 of taxable turnover or more than €15,000 of IC-transactions.
Deadlines Description
Monthly 25th day of the month following the reporting period
Quarterly 25th day of the month following the reporting period
Annually 10th day of the month following the reporting period

In Germany, no ESL return is necessary if no transactions are to be recorded in a particular time.


A rectified ESL return must be filed if the ESL return contains incorrect data or omits details.


The corrective ESL return in Germany is an addendum. Only incorrect or missing data should be corrected. It is not necessary to resubmit all previously reported details. A corrected ESL return should tick the third page.


Last Updated: 28/09/2023



The information provided by Global VAT Compliance B.V. on this webpage is intended for general informational purposes only. Global VAT Compliance B.V. is not responsible for the accuracy of the information on these pages, and cannot be held liable for claims or losses deriving from the use of this information. If you wish to receive VAT related information please contact our experts at support@gvc.tax

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