New Amazon ‘Simplify Global Selling’ pilot to remove VAT obstacles

Amazon are piloting a new Simplify Global Selling programme to make it as easy to sell to overseas customers as it is to sell to those in the UK.

Amazon know that global selling can be complex for sellers. They try to make it easy for retailers to list on more Amazon sites with offers to translate listings and through the Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) programme with their European Fulfilment Network, Pan-European FBA, and Multi-Country Inventory offers. What Amazon can’t help with under these existing programmes are the legal complexities and cost of VAT registrations in multiple countries.

Now to simplify global selling and to remove the VAT obstacles, Amazon have created a new FBA pilot programme. To help win you international sales without any of the complexity of international transactions Amazon simply list your stock overseas and then Amazon themselves buy it from you to resell to the end consumer once they have a confirmed sale.

Amazon describe the process saying “In this programme, Amazon may list your products outside on our European websites. When we get a sale from a customer on these websites, Amazon will purchase your product at your local offer price and sell it to this customer. There are no additional fees for the pilot programme, and you will be paid like any other domestic sales transaction. Moreover, Amazon will manage all cross-border VAT requirements – you will only have your existing VAT obligations in UK, not in the foreign countries“.

If Amazon purchases your inventory, your experience will be nearly identical to a domestic FBA sale. There are no additional fees to be part of the programme, Amazon simply purchases the product from you at the price you listed it at. This program has no impact on your sales to other domestic or out-of-country customers.

The only change to your experience will be related to invoicing but you don’t even have to raise an invoice. Amazon will self bill themselves and at the end of every month will email you the self billed VAT invoices that they generate on your behalf. Your only liability is to ensure that your billing details are bang up to date and of course to file your VAT and other tax returns as normal to include Amazon’s self billed invoice.

Put very simply, if you agree to opt in to Amazon’s ‘Simplify Global Selling’ pilot programme, you list on and Amazon re-list your products on other sites around the world (currently within the EU). If they get a sale they buy a product from you on, issue themselves an invoice from you and pay you for the product at the price you said you wanted for it. You’re liable for UK VAT and Amazon deal with all international VAT, taxes and shipping.

If at any point you decide that don’t wish to be part of the programme you can opt out at any time. Sadly, as it’s a pilot you’ll have to wait for an invitation to opt in.