In ECJ Case 587/10 (Vogtländische Straβen-,Tief- und Rohrleitungsbau GmbH Rodewisch (VSTR) v. Finanzamt Plauen) an American firm, Atlantic International Trading Company (AIT) is a middleman in an otherwise all-European VAT triangulation. AIT appears to have approached its compliance obligations as if it was a middleman in an American drop shipment.
However, drop shipments are treated very differently from VAT triangulations.
Commercially these transactions are very similar. They are composed of two back-to-back sales, A/B followed by B/C, with a single delivery from A directly to C. This article compares the tax treatment of drop shipments under the RST with triangulation transactions under the EU VAT. Under both systems when a single integrated transaction involves third-party middlemen compliance can be difficult.
Richard T. Ainsworth,
Vogtländische Straβen-,Tief- Und Rohrleitungsbau Gmbh Rodewisch (VSTR) v. Finanzamt Plauen – VAT Triangulation v. Drop Shipments
Available at: https://scholarship.law.bu.edu/faculty_scholarship/1441