Amazon announces closure of COS (Call-off Stock) programme

5 min read
Online delivery package brown boxes

E-commerce giant Amazon has announced that it will close its Call-Off Stock programme on Thursday 1 August 2024.  

This programme was intended as a solution for managing and optimising product inventory, with the advantage of being able to sell in Europe with just one VAT number.  

Sellers will have to adapt to new changes in the logistics and storage of their products. 

What was the Amazon COS programme? 

The Call-Off Stock programme was based on a Europe-wide legislative simplification which allows selling partners to store inventory in a country enrolled in Pan-European FBA (Germany, France, Italy or Spain) without needing a VAT Registration Number in that country.

What were the requirements for Call-Off Stock?

Per European regulations, you must have met the following legislative requirements to qualify for the COS programme when it was available:

  • You must be VAT-registered in at least one of the four European countries
  • You must adhere to VAT reporting requirements in the country in which you are VAT-registered from where the goods are dispatched.
  • You must have no Place of Establishment (PoE) in a country where you have enabled COS.
  • You must know the “intended acquirer” (in this case, Amazon), who will eventually procure your inventory stored under COS.

What were the benefits of Amazon COS?

This initiative was designed to improve product availability and customer satisfaction through efficient stock management. Some of the benefits of the programme were: 

  • Inventory management: Ensured products are available when customers need them, minimising ‘out of stock’ situations. 
  • Optimisation: Improved accuracy in demand forecasting and inventory management, reducing storage costs and improving operational efficiency. 
  • Collaboration with suppliers: Maintained a constant flow of products by working closely with suppliers. 
  • Simplified taxation: It meant the need for a single VAT number to sell across Europe. 

What do the changes mean for you if you already use Amazon COS?

With the closure of Amazon COS, Amazon has outlined a transition plan for sellers: 

1. Sale of existing inventory: Until 1 August, you’ll be able to continue to sell existing inventory under the Call-Off Stock (COS) programme, using Amazon’s domestic logistics rates. 

2. No ‘new country activation’: Activating new countries under the COS programme is now cancelled. 

3. New rates: As of 1 August, European Logistics Network (EFN) rates will apply, instead of Amazon’s domestic logistics rates in countries previously enabled under the Reserve Stock Program. 

4. Pan-European programme: To continue stocking inventory in the countries where COS was used, and benefit from Amazon’s domestic logistics rates, you must register VAT numbers to activate the Pan-European programme. 

How to prepare for the end of the Call-Off Stock programme

As we mentioned above, to continue to store inventory in countries where you’ve used Call-Off Stock and receive domestic FBA fees, you can enable Pan-EU FBA through VAT registration number (VRN).

To avoid any disruptions, ensure you activate Pan-EU FBA by registering for VAT in the relevant EU countries by August 1 2024. Failing to do so will result in Amazon facilitating the return of any Call-Off Stock inventory to the country where the inventory was originally inbounded, at no additional cost, by August 31 2024.

Fee reimbursement from Amazon

Getting VAT numbers in the countries where you had enabled Call-Off Stock may take some time.

For those who register for the relevant VAT numbers and activate the Pan-EU FBA programme from now until November 1 2024, Amazon are offering a reimbursement of €540 per country in any of the countries where you previously had Call-Off Stock enabled – specifically in Germany, France, Italy, or Spain.

This reimbursement is to cover:

  • The expenses of registering for VAT numbers
  • The associated tax filing for a duration of 12 months

Should you activate Pan-EU FBA between August 1 and November 1 2024, Amazon will compensate for the difference in fees between the European Fulfilment Network and the domestic FBA fees for items that were part of the Call-Off Stock programme.

The 2 main tax implications for COS sellers:

Having inventory stored in an EU country, without a VAT number from that country, carries administrative penalties.  

Once the COS programme ends, all sellers who have not sold all their stock will incur the following tax obligations: 

  1. Getting the relevant VAT number(s): If you want to continue storing in EU countries, you’ll need to obtain a VAT number from the country or countries before 1 August. You will also be obliged to make and submit declarations for the remaining products in the country from the date of entry of the products. 
  1. Making and submitting the relevant declarations:  
    • If you want to withdraw the goods from the country or countries where you’ve stored inventory, you must make and submit the declarations for the goods not sold through COS in the country of storage. This applies from the date of entry of the goods until the date you remove them.  
    • This means you must declare the period that the goods have been in storage. 

Do you need more help understanding the tax implications of COS? 

Speak to an AVASK tax expert – they’ll help you fully understand the tax implications for you under the COS programme. 

Get in touch

4 suggestions for sellers

If you’re a seller, it’s crucial to prepare for these changes as soon as possible, so we recommend that you:

  1. Sort your VAT number registration: Make sure you register the VAT numbers required to participate in the pan-European programme.
  2. Get expert tax advice: Get in touch with AVASK’s tax advisors so that we can provide you with a quick solution.
  3. Do an inventory review: Evaluate your current inventory, and plan how to manage it under the new tariffs and logistics structures.
  4. Speak to Amazon: Stay in communication with your Amazon representative to better understand how these changes will impact your business, and what support is available.

Don’t wait until the last minute! 

Now’s the best time to adapt and benefit from Amazon’s new logistics structures. The key is to prepare in advance and use all available resources for a smooth transition. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I eligible for the reimbursement from Amazon?

If you have received a notification via your official Amazon email or Seller Central account regarding the reimbursement process, you qualify for a reimbursement of €540 for each country you register for a VAT number to activate Pan-EU FBA. This only applies to the countries where Call-Off Stock was previously enabled.

Activating Pan-EU FBA between August 1 and November 1 2024 entitles you to a reimbursement covering the fee difference between domestic FBA and the European Fulfilment Network (EFN). This is applicable only to products that were part of the Call-Off Stock before utilising the Pan-European programme.

Additional details and the complete terms and conditions for reimbursement will be communicated to all eligible sellers via email.

What will change if I register for the relevant VAT numbers and enable Pan-EU FBA?

In countries where you enable Pan-EU FBA through registering for VAT numbers, you’ll continue to pay domestic FBA fees and send inventory to a domestic fulfilment centre which Amazon will place on your behalf.

However, sales will be made directly between you and the customer, rather than as a B2B transaction with Amazon.

AVASK can help you understand how to comply with VAT obligations that come with activating the Pan-EU FBA programme through registering for VAT.

How will I be able to see my inventory movement if I don’t enable Pan-EU FBA through VRN?

The movement of inventory will be indicated in the Amazon VAT Transactions Report (AVTR) and should be reported accordingly.

If you’re unclear on your VAT reporting requirements, please reach out to our team of experts.

Join the Global Expanders TODAY!

The Global Expanders is an online community that AVASK founded to allow e-commerce entrepreneurs to unlock their potential and expand into global marketplaces with confidence...

Join our community today!

You might also be interested in...

Expanding into the UK or Europe? Here’s how to ship and store across the customs border 

By AVASK 8 min read

For ambitious Amazon sellers looking to expand their e-commerce businesses into the UK and/or Europe, using the right shipping solution...

What is the Amazon European Fulfilment Network (EFN)? 

By AVASK 10 min read

Are you thinking about expanding into Europe? With EFN, you can store your inventory in one country’s fulfilment centre and...

Amazon update: Netherlands required for Pan-EU FBA   

Amazon has announced that, for products to be auto-enrolled in Pan-European Fulfilment by Amazon (Pan-EU FBA), sellers will soon be...