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Taxable intra-Community delivery in case of incorrect CMR waybill

In its ruling of 22 July 2015 (V R 38/14), the Federal Fiscal Court (BFH) ruled that an incorrectly completed CMR consignment note does not meet the requirements for proof of tax-exempt intra-Community delivery. We have already reported that the BFH is of the opinion that only proof of proof is suitable for intra-Community delivery. Witnesses, for example, are therefore ruled out as evidence. Now the Federal Fiscal Court confirms the opinion of the previous instance that the incorrectness of the CMR consignment note entails the tax liability of the delivery.

CMR waybill: The sender is the person who concludes the transport contract

The action was brought by a taxable company named as the consignor in box 1 of the CMR consignment note. In fact, the transport company was commissioned by the customer. According to article 5, paragraph 1 of the CMR agreement, the sender is the one who has concluded the contract with the carrier. According to the Federal Supreme Court, the consignment note was incorrect because this was not the plaintiff but the customer. A protection of good faith would also not apply, since the plaintiff should have known who was to be entered as the sender. It is irrelevant that, according to common usage, the sender from whose registered office the goods are dispatched is.

Other supporting documents must contain more than just general information

In addition to a consignment note, other commercial documents may also be used as proof of intra-Community delivery. In this respect, the Federal Fiscal Court noted that in any case only those documents are recognised from which the destination of the goods can be clearly and easily verified. Documents containing only general information, such as confirmation that the delivery item had been properly exported from Germany or to an individually designated country of destination, were not sufficient.

Questions about intra-community delivery or CMR law can be asked by O&W Attorneys at Law here!


Lawyer Dr. Tristan Wegner

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ABC-Straße 21
20354 Hamburg
T +49 (0) 40 / 36 96 15 0
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