When it comes to expanding internationally and offering their products on Amazon in different countries, many Amazon sellers are often faced with complex sales tax regulations and logistics challenges. The good news is that Amazon has found a solution to these hurdles - the Call-Off Stock (COS) or consignment stock program. In this blog post, you'll learn everything you need to know about COS, how it works and the benefits it offers.
What is call-off stock (COS)?
Call-Off Stock (COS, consignment stock program) is an innovative program from Amazon that makes use of an EU-wide simplification of VAT legislation. It allows sellers to store their stock in a country of their choice without the need for a VAT identification number in that country.
COS is currently available in France and Spain, with more countries to follow in 2023. In order to participate in the COS program, you must meet certain legal requirements. These include, for example, that you must know the "intended purchaser" who will ultimately purchase your stock from the COS. You must comply with the VAT reporting obligations in the country in which you are registered for VAT and from which the goods are shipped. In addition, unsold stock stored under the COS must not remain in the COS country for more than 12 months and must be returned to the original country of dispatch before this period expires.
In addition, you must not have a branch in a country for which COS is activated. These conditions are implemented by Amazon buying your inventory (B2B) and then reselling it to a customer at the time of purchase (B2C). You remain the owner of your inventory as it moves within the European network of Amazon logistics centers in the countries you have activated for storage. Do you need support with Selling on Amazon? Then we as Amazon Agency can certainly help.
What are the advantages of Pan-EU FBA via COS?
The COS program offers some attractive benefits for Amazon sellers who want to expand internationally:
Accelerated growth: With COS, you can quickly expand your business in Germany, France, Italy and Spain. Savings on shipping costs: By storing in different countries, you can save up to 53% on shipping costs compared to the European Fulfillment Network (EFN).
Prime logo: By using COS, you can use the Prime logo and sell your products to millions of Prime customers. Fast delivery: With COS, you can offer the fast delivery your customers love, potentially increasing your sales by up to 30%.
Are there any additional tax requirements for registering with Pan-EU FBA via COS?
Yes, there are some tax requirements that you must meet if you participate in the COS program. You must comply with VAT reporting requirements, including submitting recapitulative statements (SRs) to the tax authority of the country from which the goods are shipped. This applies in particular if you already have stock in several countries and are already obliged to submit recapitulative statements. During the beta program, you can use the required information from the Amazon Value Added Tax Transaction Report (AVTR) to identify COS sales and inventory movements between the shipping country and the COS warehouse country.
How does participation in the COS program work?
Participation in the COS program is relatively simple. You must already have active accounts in the amazon.de, amazon.fr, amazon.it and amazon.es marketplaces. You must also use Amazon's VAT calculation service to activate invoices generated by Amazon.
It is important to make sure that your inventory is stored in a country with a VAT ID number so that Amazon can move some of it to the COS-registered country. To register for COS, simply go to your "Shipping by Amazon" settings in Seller Central and select the countries where you want to place the inventory. Once you've signed up, all of your eligible ASINs will be registered for the COS program.
Who is authorized for COS?
COS is currently offered to sales partners who fulfill the following criteria: Active accounts in all relevant Amazon marketplaces (amazon.de, amazon.fr, amazon.it, amazon.es). Verified VAT identification number in at least one of the countries Germany, France, Italy or Spain on Seller Central. Registration with Amazon's VAT calculation service in order to be able to activate invoices generated by Amazon. No branch in a country registered for COS. Products eligible for COS (see Frequently Asked Questions below) must be offered in all stores: amazon.de, amazon.fr, amazon.it and amazon.es. The sales partner must be registered with OSS (One-Stop-Shop) if they are based in the European Union.
Which products are eligible for COS?
Not all products are eligible for COS. The following product categories are currently excluded from the COS program:
- Dangerous goods
- Perishable food
- Products that are subject to age rating or other legal sales restrictions
- Products that are shipped to Bulgaria, Romania, Greece or Cyprus
- Products that are not available for all four marketplaces (amazon.de, amazon.fr, amazon.it, amazon.es)
Summary Amazon COS
Amazon's Call-Off Stock (COS) or consignment stock program offers an attractive opportunity for sellers to store their stock in other EU countries without having to be registered for VAT there. With COS, sellers can expand their international activities, save costs, offer faster delivery times and use the Prime logo.
However, it is important to consider the tax requirements and ensure that you meet the eligibility requirements for the COS program. If you meet these requirements, COS can be an effective solution to expand your Amazon business internationally and benefit from the advantages of the European marketplace.