How to get an EU IOSS number. Relax. This ultra-simple guide will help you understand if you need one - or not!

Relax. We have everything you'll need for IOSS - and probably don't even need an IOSS number.

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Simon Perkins

Commercial Director at SAMOS

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If your parcel delivery company is insisting that you have an IOSS number for EU shipping the real truth is you don't need an IOSS number – you need SAMOS.

How? Here at SAMOS we've masterminded a process to ship parcels into the EU completely hassle-free without requiring an IOSS number, at no extra cost - and your customer has nothing to pay on delivery. Find out more here.

Intrigued? Find out more here ship to EU without IOSS number and start shipping completely hassle-free using our EU delivery service 'SAMOS Connect'.

Ready? Get started now and start shipping straight away using our many platform integrations such as Shopify, Linnworks, Mintsoft & Woo commerce

However, if you've decided that you want an IOSS number and you're looking for really simple information about how do it, this free guide on the EU IOSS scheme will get you started. Below you'll find information on how to:

  • Find and appoint an EU intermediary
  • How to register for an IOSS number
  • How to submit your EU monthly IOSS return

First, let's go through what the EU IOSS scheme is all about. Read our simple IOSS help guide below.

So, you may need an IOSS number in order to efficiently continue sending your e-commerce shipments under €150 in value into the EU. This came in to effect on the 1st of July 2021. An online search about IOSS returning pages and pages of confusing and conflicting information full of jargon can give you that nervy feeling pretty quickly until of course, you found this.

Relax! - it can all seem very confusing at first, but rest assured we will guide you through what IOSS is all about and how to get yourself set up and ready. The idea of IOSS is that it simplifies the whole EU VAT payment process but like with any tax process it can initially seem intimidating. Remember! IOSS is not mandatory. You can still send in to the EU completely fuss-free, regardless of the shipment value and even without an IOSS number via our hybrid EU parcel delivery service. See lucky point 13 below or read more here.

1. Why have the EU implemented IOSS numbers?

To prevent fraud, level up competition with retailers and generate a fairer VAT income for the EU.

2. Does it affect me?

Yes and no! If you're sending more modest volumes there are other solutions to deal with EU import charges, like our hybrid EU parcel service SAMOS Connect. Have larger e-com sales directly into the EU? Then yes it does. If you sell on a marketplace, it is a bit different. If the checkout process takes place on your own website and shipped in to the EU, you use your own IOSS number. If the checkout process takes place on a marketplace and shipped in to the EU, you use the marketplace's IOSS number. An IOSS number is explained below in point 5.

3. Which shipments does it affect?

Pretty much everything you're sending into the EU B2C that is valued from €0 to €150. The "no VAT applied to shipments valued under €22" no longer exists.

4. What do I need to do?

You will need to register for an IOSS number in one EU member country, not a VAT number in every EU country. You can't do this from the UK and you may have heard that you need an 'EU based intermediary' to register you for an IOSS number and administer it for you. See point 6 below.

5. What's an IOSS number?

It stands for ‘Import One Stop Shop’. It means that you can clear all your e-commerce parcels into the EU through your own unique IOSS number and pay VAT to all the countries you've sold to in one place at the reciever's country VAT rate.

6. Where do I get an IOSS number?

We can help our customers with getting an IOSS number. You may have heard that businesses outside the EU need to use an 'EU based intermediary' to do fiddly IOSS work for you. We have specially selected EU intermediaries that we can put you in touch with who will charge you from just €40 a month. Our EU intermediaries can register you for your unique EU IOSS number so you'll be good to go. If you'd like to start using our service we put you in touch with selected EU intermediaries. It will take all the pain away! Get started today.

7. When do I need to charge EU VAT?

Ideally you need to capture the appropriate EU VAT due in the EU country where your buyer is residing during the checkout process (just like you do with UK VAT). Easiest way to do this is by applying the appropriate country VAT rate once you've captured your buyer’s delivery address and country. Check out this handy list of EU VAT rates applied by each EU countries. However you account for the EU VAT, at the very least you'll want to take the appropriate payments on your checkout that will cover the VAT that will be due in your monthly IOSS return, which your appointed EU Intermediary will do for you, and let you know how much you owe. Remember not to charge UK sales VAT at checkout! We can advise our customers on the various Shopify Apps that can itemise this in the checkout process for you.

8. How do I make sure that my IOSS number is used by EU customs?

When you export into the EU, you’ll need to include your new IOSS number on the clearance information you normally provide. Of course if you're using Samos Connect European Parcel Services, we will help you make sure that you’re it's correct. Most of you will provide this export data to us electronically when the parcels are shipped.

9. What do I need to do with my IOSS number?

First, register with SAMOS and we'll help you understand if you actually need an IOSS number. If you decide you need one, we'll help you get an intermediary appointed (see point 6 above) from a selection of approved suppliers. The process the intermediary will follow is pretty much like doing an HMRC quarterly VAT return, except they'll be doing it on your new IOSS number on the website of the country it’s registered in. Once you’re all set up, they’ll know how much EU VAT you have to pay, based on your EU sales and the EU VAT you charged. Remember, you have already charged and banked the EU VAT that is due at checkout (see point 7 above). Just like you would account for HMRC UK sales VAT that you need to pay HMRC - save it ready to settle up with the EU via your intermediary, for the monthly return.

10. Why do I pay EU VAT in one country when my buyer was in another?

Your intermediary and the EU sort that bit out, so don’t worry too much. That’s why it is called Import One Stop Shop.

11. But the value of my EU e-com sale was over €150?

Continue to send these DDP or DDU. We can help with that too. Our hybrid EU parcel service means that the VAT and Duty due on shipments over €150 is reversed back to you. Your customer will not get any local "doorstep" VAT or handling fee demands, which has caused so many problems since Brexit. We do not surcharge for our hybrid service.

12. How about getting VAT back on any returns?

Report them to your intermediary and they will just debit it from your next EU VAT return. You'll need proof that it originated and came back to the UK.

13. Do I have to register for IOSS number?

No. IOSS is not mandatory. You can still send DDP, DDU or why not try our well-known hybrid EU parcel service for more details. If you are shipping low volume and the costs of setting up and maintaining IOSS seem excessive compared to the revenue you are generating, then you can keep sending DDU or DDP but there are big risks with both of these options - you may have already experienced this! With DDP your parcel or mail carrier may surcharge you for reversing the VAT back to you. DDP surcharges can be huge and negatively affect your margins. With DDU, your parcel or mail carrier will request the VAT from your customer on the doorstep before delivery and they may also get a hefty local 'handling charge' too. This is a poor customer experience and risks returns and poor reviews.

Who are we?

Alternatively brilliant delivery, by SAMOS

We are a parcel logistics company specialising in creating and engineering customer-focussed e-commerce parcel delivery solutions. We have become particularly well known for our hybrid EU parcel delivery solution. It's growing very fast and enabled so many e-com businesses to get back on track and develop their EU markets without fear of all the export problems experienced with the other mail and parcel delivery companies.

We totally understand the frustrations of using parcel and post delivery services so we have engineered these out of our service. Customers always ask us, "Why didn't we know about you before?" Well, you do now. We can ship all your B2C parcels across the EU whether your have an IOSS number or not. We do not surcharge at all, just one ultra-low cost per parcel. Simple. Find out more about SAMOS.

We clear and deliver EU parcels like no other parcel delivery company.

Parcel with approved stamp

  • Huge reduction in customs problems

  • Limited delays

  • Consistent time to delivery

  • No IOSS number required

No customer doorstep charges such as VAT, Duty and local admin charges

Parcel delivered by postman

  • Customers never charged anything before delivery

  • Improve customer buying and delivery experience

  • Reduce returns

  • Improve reviews

  • Build customer sales, loyalty, and profit

No need to understand all the confusing EU rules and regulations.

Overwhelmed business owner

  • Ultra-simple step-by-step help

  • One to one guidance and information

  • Exclusive customer service

We can ship food (and ingested items such as supplments etc) B2C to the EU

  • Bespoke e-commerce food shipping service

  • Simple, uncomplicated process

  • No additional paperwork required

All-inclusive charges

Delivery receipt on parcel

  • No hidden or additional charges

  • Predictable pricing

  • Confidence & piece of mind

  • No retrospective fees

  • No Subscription fee

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Happy business owner

Integrations with:

  • Mintsoft

  • Woo Commerce

  • Shopify App

  • Linnworks

  • Ship Theory

  • Despatch Cloud

  • ShipStation

Want to know more?

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Frequently Asked Questions about the SAMOS service

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What Our Customers Say

Peace, Founder and owner at Nubia's Crown - -

Watch a vlog by Peace at Nubia's Crown, one of our amazing customers, discussing our service here.

Alie Mackintosh, CEO at AYM, -

‘’We are incredibly happy with the service provided by SAMOS and would recommend their EU shipment services to any businesses requiring a solution for EU logistics since Brexit. Deliveries are fast and our customers are happy. SAMOS take all the stress and hassle of the new (and confusing) requirements away and provide a comprehensive and fully rounded service for both us and our customers. It’s win-win solution.

We were apprehensive about the future of shipping B2C into the EU after experiencing delays in transit and confusion around additional charges, until we joined SAMOS. They are incredibly helpful, knowledgeable and reliable, it really is joy to be working with them."

Daphne, Co-founder at TIC CC, -

"We have been working with SAMOS since November 2021 to fulfil all our EU customer orders. Previously we had been using mail services, which meant a lot of hassle with customs and increased expenditure to the customer and us, and taking several weeks for parcel deliveries. We have trialled other courier companies, who’s services, pricing and customs issues have been appalling. 

Since using SAMOS our EU order deliver is running smooth and fast, without any issues. Customers also get delivery notifications, and can easily keep track of their parcels. Their online platform is very easy to use with minimal time spent to create shipping labels and customs paperwork. The prices are extremely competitive, and the customer services is the best we have experienced compared to any other delivery partner and couriers. This has been the best service provider we have worked with. I would highly recommend SAMOS!"

Related Articles

A comprehensive guide on shipping into the EU above the 150 Euro IOSS threshold

A comprehensive guide on shipping into the EU above the 150 Euro IOSS threshold

Discover how to efficiently ship goods into the European Union above the Euro 150 IOSS threshold with our comprehensive new service. Learn essential tips and strategies for successful EU shipping. The EU parcel delivery service by SAMOS means you don't need EU VAT numbers or IOSS. Welcome to a MUCH simpler - and cheaper solution.

Picture of Simon Perkins

Simon Perkins

Commercial Director at SAMOS