Estonian IT company is creating an application whereby EU countries can earn billions of euros in tax revenue

Published: 19.02.2020

The EU loses almost EUR 5 billion in VAT each year through e-commerce from third countries. Photo: Pixabay

With the support of EU money, Aurora Solutions OÜ is creating a VAT and customs declaration service platform that enables countries to significantly increase tax revenue collection.

On January the 1st next year, a new VAT directive on international e-commerce will come into force in the European Union, abolishing the minimum import threshold for shipments from third countries (so far € 22), and VAT on all shipments from outside the Union will be applied. Electronic declaration of an e-commerce shipment will also become mandatory before it arrives at an EU border inspection post. "Currently, creating a manual declaration in the EU costs 15-25 euros, an electronic declaration costs 2.5-5-5 euros. The cost of Aurora Solutions service is 0.05 to 2 euros, depending on the number of declarations a customer is making per year," said Marko Lastik. "Aurora Solutions is creating a universal global system. We are aware of a few competitors, but we have started earlier and our system will be much more comprehensive," he added. The new requirements oblige e-commerce platforms and retailers to use HS codes, which make it possible to develop digital services. Aurora Solutions is developing a self-learning system based on a block chain in cooperation with Tallinn University of Technology and OÜ STACC. STACC was established in 2009 by the University of Tartu, Tallinn University of Technology and several Estonian IT companies with the aim of carrying out business-oriented projects in the field of data science and machine learning.

Aurora Solutions received € 1.3 million in EU funding

The company has received EUR 1.3 million from the EU Structural Funds for research into applied e-commerce digitization of VAT and customs declarations through the Archimedes Foundation. The total value of the project is two million euros. There are at least seven billion parcels coming from outside the European Union each year and there is currently no uniform and effective system for declaring shipments. The EU is losing around € 5 billion worth of VAT each year through e-commerce from third countries. Member States are also losing billions of euros in customs duties on imported goods declared incorrectly or cheaper. According to Aurora Solutions, many customs offices, platforms and postal companies in Europe and Asia work with them. The Estonian Tax and Customs Board is also participating in the pilot project.

Aurora Solutions joined the Estonian EXPO Pavilion

Aurora Solutions recently joined the Estonian Pavilion at Dubai EXPO 2020. "This is a great example of cooperation between companies, the state and research institutions," said Andres Kask, head of the Estonian branch of EXPO 2020 in Dubai, in a press release. "As an Estonian company, we are pleased to promote the IT success story of Estonia as a country," said Sid Hart, CEO of Aurora Solutions. "Dubai EXPO is an ideal place for us to introduce ourselves to the whole world and once again confirm that Estonia is the best country for digital development," he added. Aurora Solutsions is headquartered in Estonia with branch offices in the UK, the Netherlands and Hong Kong. The World Exhibition Dubai EXPO will be held from 20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021.   The news originates from the IT-news portal, author Indrek Kald.

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