Guidance: Scope and territoriality – Suspension of the tax

Suspension is a mechanism in which a person subject to value added tax (VAT) is authorized to receive, unencumbered by this tax, some of the products and services necessary for its operation and the purpose of which is to defer to a certain stage later the liability, and therefore the payment, of the tax.

It induces a reverse charge, that is to say a transfer of the status of debtor, and of the obligations attached thereto, from the person who carries out the operation to the person who benefits from it.


The benefit of the suspension of VAT is generally subject to conditions which may be formal (attestation) or de facto (quality of the customer or use of the product).

The administration may possibly require the guarantee of a deposit ( general tax code [CGI], art. 276 ).


Transactions made in suspension, as transactions subject to VAT, remain subject to the same obligations (with the exception of the payment and invoicing of VAT) and open the right to deduction under the same conditions as the transactions actually taxed. . Their generating event is maintained unchanged.


The tax suspension concerns:

  • operations relating to petroleum products prior to their exit from a suspensive excise regime ( code of taxation on goods and services, art. L. 311-16 ) as well as on the goods and services used for their extraction, manufacture , transport by pipeline or storage ( CGI, art. 298 );
  • imports and resales in the state of certain raw materials intended for the textile industry (ministerial decisions of December 28, 1967 and July 12, 1974);
  • certain operations related to the special customs regimes of the European Union (or a situation awaiting assignment to a customs regime) or carried out under the suspensive tax regime or other similar arrangements ( CGI, art. 277 A ) .


This title comments on the applicable VAT suspensive regime:

  • operations related to customs situations or procedures (chapter 1, BOI-TVA-CHAMP-40-10 );
  • transactions carried out under the suspensive tax regime (chapter 2, BOI-TVA-CHAMP-40-20 );
  • operations involving textile raw materials (chapter 3, BOI-TVA-CHAMP-40-30 );
  • operations relating to petroleum and similar products prior to their exit from an excise suspension regime, as well as to the goods and services used for their extraction, manufacture, transport by pipeline or storage (chapter 4, BOI- VAT-CHAMP-40-40 ).


The regime of duty-free purchases by taxable persons who make export deliveries or exempt intra-Community deliveries differs from the suspension arrangements. It is commented on in BOI-TVA-CHAMP-30-30-50 .



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