New VAT rules for private consumers in Europe

Read here how this changes the purchasing price of racing pigeons for you

As of the 1st of July, there is a new European law concerning distance selling to private consumers. The law has an effect on the applicable VAT rate when you:

  1. buy a racing pigeon via an electronic medium (website, phone, email, …), and
  1. are a private consumer (which means not a business liable for VAT), and
  1. request the involvement of PIPA in the transport of a purchased racing pigeon to a delivery address within one of the 27 EEA-countries (Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Czech Republic, Sweden)

If you meet these conditions together, PIPA is obligated to apply the VAT rate of the EEA country of destination (usually your residence) to the purchase price.

VAT rates per European member state

Member State VAT-% Bulgaria 20 Cyprus 19 Denmark 25 Germany 7 Estonia 20 Finland 24 France 10 Greece 13 Hungary 27 Ireland 5 Italy 22 Croatia 25 Latvia 21 Lithuania 21 Luxembourg 17 Malta 18 Netherlands 21 Northern Ireland 20 Austria 20 Poland 23 Portugal 23 Romania 9 Slovenia 22 Slovakia 20 Spain 21 Czech Republic 15 Sweden 25


For instance, you as a private consumer purchase a pigeon via the PIPA website and you want this pigeon to be delivered to an address within an European Economic Area (EEA) country, such as the Netherlands. Your choice of collection or delivery method will determine the applicable VAT rate.

  • You arrange with our logistics service to collect the pigeon from PIPA in Belgium yourself, or you send someone (for example, a friend, acquaintance or professional courier) to collect the pigeon in your place: You will still pay the 6% Belgian VAT like before.

  • You ask us to deliver the pigeon to an address within the Netherlands (for example by courier): From now on in this case you will have to pay 21% VAT, the rate for racing pigeons of The Netherlands. This used to be the 6% Belgian rate.

  • If you arrange for the same courier to pick up the pigeon without the involvement of PIPA’s logistics service, you will still pay the 6% Belgian VAT.

Please note that this applies to private consumers who live outside of the EEA borders just the same (United States, Canada, Mexico, Taiwan, China, South Africa ...). In case you do not immediately after purchase export the racing pigeon outside of the EEA, but instead send it to an address in any of the EEA countries, these rules apply to you as well and you will either pay the Belgian VAT rate of 6%, or the VAT rate of the EEA country of destination depending on whether you requested PIPA's involvement in the delivery or not.


To make things easier for you, our auctioning system calculates the correct VAT rate, so you know what to expect before you bid.

For this to work, It is crucial to set up and select the correct delivery method when bidding. You can set up your delivery method here.

You will see the correct VAT rate during the auction.

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