Establishment of an enhanced coordination mechanism
related to the functioning of the Protocol in the areas of VAT and excise
An Enhanced Coordination Mechanism on VAT and excise concerning goods (“the Mechanism”) is hereby established.
The purpose of the Mechanism is to assist the Joint Committee in fulfilling its task to review the implementation and application of Article 8 of the Protocol with regard to the provisions of Union law listed in Annex 3 to the Protocol, taking into account Northern Ireland’s integral place in the United Kingdom’s internal market, while ensuring the integrity of the Union internal market.
The Mechanism shall assist the Joint Committee to:
- provide a forum for the enhanced and timely coordination of the exchange of relevant information and for consultation on future United Kingdom and Union VAT and excise legislation whenever in particular it affects the trade in goods in Northern Ireland due to important changes envisaged in the applicable legislative framework or major difficulties that may arise from separation of treatment of goods and services in the field of VAT;
- provide a forum to assess the potential impact and prepare a smooth implementation of the legislation referred to in point (a) in Northern Ireland. This assessment should particularly look at avoiding undue administrative burdens and unnecessary costs for businesses and tax administrations;
- provide a forum to discuss practical difficulties in relation to the application of existing United Kingdom and Union VAT and excise legislation as applicable by virtue of the Protocol;
- adopt decisions or recommendations in relation to provisions of Union law listed in Annex 3 to the Protocol, while avoiding adverse impact on fiscal fraud risks and any potential distortion of competition in the Union. Such decisions and recommendations shall not affect the level of VAT and excise levied on goods; and
- discuss and adopt any other appropriate measures as necessary to address issues arising from the implementation and application of Article 8 of the Protocol.
The co-chairs of the Specialised Committee on issues related to the implementation of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland established by Article 165(1)(c) of the Withdrawal Agreement (the “Specialised Committee”) shall convene specific meetings of the Specialised Committee to discuss VAT and excise concerning goods as These meetings will be known as the Enhanced Coordination Mechanism on VAT and excise.
The co-chairs of the Specialised Committee shall each designate a lead expert in the area of VAT and excise (“the lead experts”).
Meetings of the Mechanism shall be arranged when necessary. The lead experts may informally exchange views between the meetings of the Mechanism and may also meet informally. After each informal meeting, the lead experts shall draw up minutes and send them to the co-chairs of the Specialised Committee and the joint consultative working group established by Article 15 of the Protocol (the “joint consultative working group”).
The lead experts shall submit a final report to the co-chairs of the Specialised Committee summarising the outcome of the discussion on a particular issue and setting out any recommended action, including any issues on which agreement could not be reached.
The lead experts may invite representatives of third parties or other experts to talk on particular matters. They will communicate the names of these experts to the co-chairs of the Specialised Committee.
The co-chairs of the joint consultative working group may attend the meetings of the Mechanism. The co-chairs of the joint consultative working group may inform the lead experts about planned Union acts and other issues relating to VAT and excise concerning goods.
The Rules of procedure of the Joint Committee and Specialised Committees as set out in Annex VIII to the Withdrawal Agreement shall apply mutatis mutandis to the Mechanism unless otherwise provided for in this Decision.
Proposals for decisions or recommendations related to this section
On the basis of the final report from the lead experts referred to in Article 19(3), the Specialised Committee may draw up proposals for decisions or recommendations and refer them for adoption by the Joint Committee. These proposals shall set out:
- the issues jointly identified by the Union and the United Kingdom in relation to the application of Article 8 of the Protocol; and
- the proposed
Review of this section
The Mechanism shall be regularly reviewed and, if appropriate, revised. The first review shall take place by 1 January 2027, at the latest.