Press Releases

Europe aligns VAT between eBooks and physical books; ratifies Marrakesh

The International Publishers Association welcomes the news that the EU’s Economic and Financial Affairs Council has unanimously agreed to allow Member States to apply reduced VAT rates to eBooks, bringing them into alignment with physical books, which in most cases carried a lower rate.

The Federation of European Publishers welcomed the news. President of FEP, Rudy Vanschoonbeek, said: This forward-looking decision marks the end of the unjustified fiscal discrimination between publications in different formats, acknowledging the cultural, social and economic value of books, journals and educational materials in all formats and the technological progress that has taken place in the sector. FEP and all its members would like to express their gratitude to all those who supported this cause along the years, making this landmark achievement possible.

The announcement came the day after the European Union officially ratified the Marrakesh Treaty at a ceremony in Geneva at the World Intellectual Property Organisation.

IPA President, Michiel Kolman, said: This is proving to be a great week for European readers, first ratifying the Marrakesh Treaty and now ending tax discrimination between books based on their format. While both these outcomes are logical, it has taken great efforts from the industry and politically to make this happen. Let’s hope other regions follow these great examples of reducing barriers to books.

The Publishers Association (UK), Swedish Publishers Association, and the German Publishers and Booksellers Association all welcomed the VAT statement.

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