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The VAT Directive sets out a number of conditions for exempting from VAT the supply of goods within the frame of certain cross-border transactions. The exemption from VAT for intra-Community supplies is granted to the vendor if three material conditions are met: (1) the power to dispose of the goods as owner must have been transferred to the purchaser, (2) the goods must be physically dispatched from one Member State to another and (3) the seller must be able to demonstrate that the customer is a taxable person acting as such.

Differences of interpretation between Member States in the application of this VAT exemption have created difficulties and are currently a source of legal uncertainty for companies. In order to provide a practical solution for businesses and ultimately improve intra-Community trade of goods, the European Council, at the instigation of the Commission, approved an implementing regulation aimed at harmonizing evidences of transport, which will enter into force on January 01, 2020 in all Member States.