With the removal of frontier controls between member states under the single market programme, a new system, known as Intrastat, was devised to compile statistics on internal trade within the European Union. Developed by Eurostat and operational since January 1993, Intrastat replaced traditional customs declarations at the frontier with a process of obtaining information directly from businesses in the various member states. Administered by national tax authorities, it is closely linked to arrangements for assessing and collecting value-added tax (VAT). The reporting burden on small businesses is eased by the application of a threshold below which only rudimentary information is required: set separately in each country within a common framework, this level is currently £ 260,000 in the United Kingdom. Under the Intrastat system, exports to other member states are known as ‘dispatches’ and imports as ‘arrivals’.

September 2012

Copyright: Anthony Teasdale, 2012

Citation: The Penguin Companion to European Union (2012), additional website entry

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