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The Expert's eye

The vendor must submit evidence that the goods have been dispatched or transported outside the country of departure but within the European Union. It must hold all the documents proving the goods have actually been dispatched or transported. These documents include amongst other things the contracts, purchase orders, transport and payment documents. In its judgment delivered today, the Court of Justice points out that the tax authorities must verify if the goods have left the territory on the basis of the documents provided by the vendor but cannot demand that the latter produces tangible proof that the goods have physically left the territory. The VAT exemption must be granted where the vendor acting in good faith holds reliable documents (CMR, consignment notes, etc.) showing the goods have left the territory even though it will turn out later that the purchaser did not fulfil its contractual obligation to dispatch the goods outside the country.