Chain transactions

New Value-Added Tax (VAT) rules were introduced on chain transactions from 1 January 2020. These rules help traders decide how to assign the intra-Community transport of goods in certain cross border supply chains.

Generally, a chain transaction is a series of successive supplies of the same goods between multiple suppliers but involves only one intra-Community transport of those goods.

The rules only apply in certain circumstances where the goods have been:

  • transported from one European Union (EU) Member State to another EU Member State
  • directly transported from the first supplier to the last customer in the chain
  • transported by the intermediary operator or by a third party on behalf of the intermediary. 

‘Further guidance’ contains more information on the VAT treatment of the chain transaction rules.