What is the Amazon European Fulfilment Network (EFN)? 

10 min read
Articulated lorry on a map of Europe

Are you thinking about expanding into Europe? With EFN, you can store your inventory in one country’s fulfilment centre and efficiently ship products to multiple European marketplaces. 

EFN is a powerful, cost-effective tool for any e-commerce business looking to scale up operations and reach a wider audience within the EU.  

We’ll look at where it’s available, what to consider, what you need to stay compliant, and how to get started. We’re also going to touch on Remote Fulfilment between the UK and EU. 

Read more to find out how using Amazon EFN can help power up your business. 

What is the European Fulfilment Network? 

Amazon’s EFN is an innovative solution, designed to streamline the cross-border selling process for new and established e-commerce businesses in the EU. 

How does using EFN benefit your business? 

By taking advantage of Amazon’s extensive logistics and fulfilment network, EFN allows you to benefit from Amazon’s fulfilment services.  

This means you can expand your customer base, and provide a seamless, speedy and reliable shopping experience that matches local delivery expectations in terms of speed and reliability. 

Where is the Amazon European Fulfilment Network available? 

Map of UK and Europe listing where Amazon EFN is available

As of January 2024, the list of countries primarily covers: 

  • United Kingdom 
  • Germany 
  • France 
  • Italy 
  • Spain 
  • Poland 
  • Sweden 
  • The Netherlands 

Amazon is continuously expanding its services, so keep an eye out for new additions or changes to the list of countries participating in the EFN, and for any changes to a country’s availability on this programme. 

The 6 pros (and 6 cons) of Amazon’s European Fulfilment Network

EFN offers several advantages and disadvantages, so weigh these up when you’re looking to grow your e-commerce business:

The 6 advantages of EFN

EFN offers several advantages and disadvantages, so weigh these up when you’re looking to grow your e-commerce business: 

  1. Simplified logistics: EFN simplifies cross-border sales by allowing sellers to store inventory in one Amazon fulfilment centre, and they distribute products across Europe. This helps you avoid managing logistics and inventory across multiple countries. 
  2. Cost efficiency: Reduce shipping and storage costs by storing inventory in a single location. This efficiency can lead to better margins and competitiveness. 
  3. Expanded market reach: EFN can help you easily access multiple European markets without the need for a physical presence in each country. This can increase your customer base and sales potential. 
  4. Streamlined customer support:Amazon provides customer service in the local language of each marketplace, enhancing customer satisfaction and trust. This service includes handling returns, which as you may already know, can pose a significant challenge. 
  5. Speed to market:Quickly launch products across multiple European countries without the delays associated with setting up individual logistics and fulfilment solutions in each market. 
  6. You only need one VAT number: EFN simplifies VAT, as you only need to register for VAT in the country where you’re storing goods. For all cross-border sales, Amazon will declare these distance sales on their OSS (One-Stop Shop) return once an EU-wide threshold of €10,000 has been reached. 

The 6 disadvantages of EFN

  1. Increased fulfilment fees: Overseas sales tend to attract higher cross-border fulfilment fees than domestic orders. These fees can reduce profit margins – especially for low-margin items. 
  2. Longer delivery times: Again, overseas sales will take longer to deliver as inventory isn’t stored in the nearest Amazon fulfilment centre. This may affect your sales as similar products with faster delivery options will be more attractive to buyers. 
  3. Language barriers:Despite Amazon handling customer service in local languages, you may still face challenges managing product listings and marketing in multiple languages. 
  4. Prime eligibility:EFN grants you Prime eligibility in the country where inventory is stored. However, on cross-border sales not all orders may be eligible. This depends on a few factors, including the location of the inventory versus the location of the buyer. If you’re conducting a larger volume of sales in overseas marketplaces, you may need to consider Amazon’s Multi-Country Inventory (MCI) or Pan-EU programmes respectively
  5. Regulatory and compliance risks: While selling goods cross-borders via EFN, you need to monitor your stock and its location. Returns may not go back to the dispatching FBA (Fulfilment by Amazon) fulfilment centre. If stock is returned to an FBA centre in a different country, then this would trigger a requirement to register for VAT in that jurisdiction. You also need to: 
    • register for VAT in the country where you’re holding stock  
    • regularly file VAT returns either monthly or quarterly, depending on the jurisdiction 

Do you need to talk through the pros and cons of Amazon EFN? 

Speak to one of our experts – they can help you understand whether European Fulfilment Network is right for your business model, and your overall international business expansion strategy. 

Contact us to schedule a call and learn more about Amazon EFN

What is Remote Fulfilment?

Remote Fulfilment between the UK and the EU operates in much the same way as EFN, using the existing Fulfilment by Amazon infrastructure, but it’s only available between the UK and the EU (France, Spain, Italy and Germany).

The difference between EFN and Remote Fulfilment is that EFN is for countries within the EU (as listed further up), and Remote Fulfilment is for sellers shipping to the EU from the UK, or vice versa.

Learn more about Remote Fulfilment between the UK and EU 

How do you register for the Amazon European Fulfilment Network? 

Follow these 10 steps to integrate your Amazon Seller Central account with the EFN logistics system: 

  1. Check you’re eligible to sell in Amazon’s European marketplaces:Before you start, make sure that your Seller Central account is set up correctly, it’s in good standing, and that you’re eligible to sell. 
  2. Set up a professional Seller Central account: If you don’t already have one, you’ll need to set up a professional seller account on Amazon. This is typically a requirement for using Amazon’s EFN. 
  3. Register for Amazon Global Selling: From your Seller Central dashboard, enable any options for Amazon Global Selling, as this is the backbone for EFN. 
  4. Enrol onto European Fulfilment Network (EFN):When setting up your Amazon Global Selling options, find the specific section relating to the European Fulfilment Network, and follow the prompts. 
  5. Establish your VAT accounts: You’ll need a VAT number for the UK and any EU country you’re selling in – and learn more about how we can help you set them up. 
  6. Follow any eco-legislation:Certain countries in Europe (for example, France, Germany, Spain and Austria) require you to register for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) – and we can help with that too. 
  7. Manage your inventory: Send your inventory to the correct Amazon FBA fulfilment centre. Check out the guidance on Amazon Seller Central for how to prepare and ship your inventory for international sales. 
  8. Monitor your Seller Central account: Regularly monitor your account for sales volumes, customer feedback and to effectively plan and manage your inventory volumes.  
  9. Get expert support: AVASK can help you with your VAT and EPR compliance. Meanwhile, Amazon Seller Central also includes help forums and customer support for businesses. 
  10. Stay on top of any changes: Always review the latest guidance on Seller Central, as Amazon frequently make changes to their programmes.  

The e-commerce ecosystem is constantly evolving, so stay up to date with all updates that are sent your way. Stay alert and adapt to this ecosystem – that’s the key to success on international selling platforms like Amazon and others. 

Compliance: the 5 requirements you need to meet to use Amazon EFN 

To get the most out of Amazon’s European Fulfilment Network, you’ll need to be compliant with tax and various regulations. This is critical for the smooth operation of your business, and for avoiding legal and financial penalties that come because of non-compliance. 

1. Be VAT registered

In Europe, you must be registered for VAT in each EU country where you hold stock. Enabling European Fulfilment Network (EFN) simplifies your VAT reporting requirements to a single country.  

To remain compliant with your VAT accounts, you must: 

  • regularly file VAT returns  
  • make appropriate VAT payments to the tax authorities 

2. Register for the European One-Stop-Shop (OSS) scheme  

If your company is registered in the EU, you may need to register for OSS when distance selling into other EU countries. OSS is an efficient and cheaper way to manage VAT compliance for intra-EU transactions. 

What do you need to do about the OSS if you’re based outside of the EU? 

If you run a non-EU company, don’t worry about the OSS. Amazon will collect and remit all cross-border VAT.  

3. Comply with Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) 

Extended Producer Responsibility is environmental legislation that covers waste management, and recycling requirements, for goods that apply to certain categories, such as: 

  • packaging 
  • waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) 
  • batteries 

If you’re selling goods in a country where EPR rules apply, you must register and make environmental contributions for the products that you sell in these countries. 

If you’re distance selling – let’s say you’re selling goods from France into Germany –  you’ll need to register for EPR in both countries (if applicable). 

4. Comply with product safety and compliance standards

If you operate in Europe, you must comply with EU safety standards and regulations, which include CE marking for certain product categories. Product labels must also comply with local language and content requirements, which vary from country to country. This includes safety warnings and instructions. 

5. Comply with import regulations 

If you’re importing goods into the EU, you’ll need to apply for an EORI (Economic Operators Registration and Identification) number

  • One EORI number will enable you to clear goods into any EU state 
  • A second EORI number is required if you’re selling in the UK 

You must also comply with customs clearance requirements for your goods. You’ll need to provide paperwork including: 

  • commercial invoices 
  • packing lists  
  • a copy of a bill of lading 

Is your business non-EU domiciled?

For non-EU domiciled businesses, you’ll also need an indirect representative like KATA Global Logistics to clear goods on your behalf into the EU. 

Get a quote from KATA

Launch and grow your business in the EU with EFN 

There’s one final thing to consider: You must have a VAT number in every country where you’re storing goods.  

As you continue to build sales and brand reputation, you can then activate the Amazon MCI programme, or activate Pan-EU, which will enable you to store goods in any EU marketplace or fulfilment country. Amazon will then manage the logistics, moving your goods closer to your clients. 

Ready to expand into Europe? 

The European Fulfilment Network is a fantastic platform to launch your e-commerce business into the UK or the EU. It gives you gateway access to setting up and storing inventory in a single EU country, enabling you to launch your business into multiple EU countries, including the Central and Eastern European and Nordic regions

Once your business is established within the European marketplace, you can start distance selling in additional EU countries. While the fees for selling cross-border may be higher, it will enable you to slowly build demand for your products in the international markets. 

So before you make changes to your international selling strategy, have a chat with tax experts like us first – AVASK can help you to stay in control of your company’s compliance when trading in Europe.  

Speak to AVASK about your expansion goals

Reach out to our team today to find out how we can help you to expand your business cross-borders in Europe. AVASK can help with the compliance requirements that will affect your business when setting up on European Fulfilment Network (EFN), and with all aspects of maintaining compliance when trading in Europe.

Schedule a call with our tax 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...

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...

Prepare for Prime Day 2024: Everything you need to know as an Amazon Seller

By AVASK 5 min read

Prime Day, Amazon’s annual sales event, has become one of the most highly anticipated shopping events for consumers worldwide. As...