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Summaries of EU Legislation

Refunds to non-EEC taxable persons (13th VAT Directive)

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Refunds to non-EEC taxable persons (13th VAT Directive)

The purpose of this document is to harmonize further Member State legislation concerning VAT refunds to taxable persons outside the EEC.


13th Council Directive 86/560/EEC of 17 November 1986 on the harmonization of the laws of the Member States relating to turnover tax arrangements for the refund of value-added tax to taxable persons not established in Community territory [Official Journal L 326 of 21.11.1986].


A taxable person not established in the territory of the Community is defined as someone who has not had a business address, or a permanent place of residence in a Member State during a period of time to be determined by the Member State, and has not supplied any goods or services in that Member State with the exception of transport services or those on which tax is payable by the customer alone.

In general, Member States will refund any VAT paid by a non-EC taxable person on goods or services supplied by a taxable individual in the territory of the Community. Such refunds may be made conditional on third countries agreeing to take comparable measures (reciprocity).

Refunds have to be applied for by the non-EEC taxable person. Member States will determine the practical arrangements for claiming these refunds, e.g. time-limits or minimum amounts. They may also require the appointment of a tax representative. They will take all necessary steps to prevent fraud.

These refunds must not be made on more favourable conditions than those made to taxable persons established in the EEC.

Eligibility for refunds will be determined according to the domestic rules of the Member States for VAT deductions, although certain expenditures may be excluded or certain conditions imposed.



Entry into force - Date of expiry

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive No 86/560/EEC



OJ L 326 of 21.11.1986

Last updated: 31.08.2006