Directive 2022/542 - Amendment of Directives 2006/112/EC and (EU) 2020/285 as regards rates of VAT

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Current status

This directive entered into force on April  6, 2022 and has to be implemented in national regulation on December 31, 2024 at the latest.


Key information

official title

Council Directive (EU) 2022/542 of 5 April 2022 amending Directives 2006/112/EC and (EU) 2020/285 as regards rates of value added tax
Legal instrument Directive
Number legal act Directive 2022/542
Regdoc number ST(2022)5442
Original proposal COM(2018)20 EN
CELEX number i 32022L0542


Key dates

Document 05-04-2022; Date of adoption
Effect 06-04-2022; Entry into force Date pub. See Art 5
End of validity 31-12-9999
Transposition 31-12-2024; Adoption At the latest See Art 3.1
01-01-2025; Application See Art 3.1


Legislative text



Official Journal of the European Union

L 107/1



of 5 April 2022

amending Directives 2006/112/EC and (EU) 2020/285 as regards rates of value added tax


Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular Article 113 thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission,

After transmission of the draft legislative act to the national parliaments,

Having regard to the opinion of the European Parliament (1),

Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee (2),

Acting in accordance with a special legislative procedure,




The rules on rates of value added tax (VAT) as provided for in Council Directive 2006/112/EC (3) aim to preserve the functioning of the internal market and to avoid distortions of competition. Those rules were designed over two decades ago based on the origin principle. In its communications of 7 April 2016 on an action plan on VAT – Towards a single EU VAT area – Time to decide, and of 4 October 2017 on the follow-up to the Action Plan on VAT – Towards a single EU VAT area – Time to act, the Commission announced its intention to adjust those rules for a definitive VAT system for cross-border business-to-business trade in goods between Member States that would be based on the taxation in the Member State of destination.



Under a system where the supply of goods and services would be taxed in the Member State of destination, suppliers derive no significant benefit from being established in a Member State with a lower VAT rate. Greater diversity in VAT rates would not, under such a system, disrupt the functioning of the internal market nor create distortions of competition. In those circumstances, it would be appropriate to grant more flexibility to Member States in the setting of rates.



The goods and services eligible for reduced rates should aim at benefiting the final consumer and pursue objectives of general interest. In order to avoid unnecessary complexity and a subsequent rise in business costs, in particular for intra-Community trade, once Member States select such goods and services accordingly, reduced rates would normally be applicable along the entire commercial chain.



The legal framework allowing the application of reduced rates should be overall coherent with other Union policies such as Regulation (EU) 2021/522 of the European Parliament and of the Council (4) and the communication from the Commission of 11 December 2019 on the European Green Deal. In order to enable Member States to apply reduced rates with a view to the strengthening of the resilience of their health systems, it is appropriate to extend the scope of goods and services considered to be essential to support the provision of health care and to compensate and overcome disabilities. Furthermore, Member States should be given the possibility to contribute to a climate-neutral and green economy by means of applying reduced rates on environmentally friendly supplies while, at the same time, preparing the phasing out of the existing preferential treatment of environmentally harmful supplies.



All Member States are to be treated equally and should therefore be given the same possibilities to apply reduced rates, which should however remain an exception to the standard rate. Such equal treatment can be achieved by enabling all Member States to apply to the eligible goods and services, within defined limits, a maximum of two reduced rates of a minimum of 5 %, a reduced rate lower than the minimum of 5 % and an exemption with the right to deduct input VAT.



Taking into account the need to avoid the proliferation of reduced rates for budgetary reasons and the principle of equal...


This text has been adopted from EUR-Lex.


Original proposal



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