This document is to be used as a guideline when drawing up orders and contracts. It is split into four sections:
- "Suppliers in Switzerland"
- "Suppliers in France"
- "Suppliers in EU (France Excepted)"
- "Suppliers in Non-EU (Switzerland excepted)"
You will also find information concerning document 151. This document however cannot answer all questions/problems that arise, and therefore in case of any doubt, it is recommended that you consult the Shipping and Logistics Service before sending the order/contract.
1. SUPPLIERS IN SWITZERLAND
All supplies and services from suppliers in Switzerland should state delivery CERN MEYRIN, except for very large equipment to be installed on French territory.
For deliveries to CERN MEYRIN whose value exceeds 100 CHF, the Customs document Usage Officiel - A/OI completed with information related to the order and stamped by the customs authorities is needed for the supplier. This document enables the supplier to exclude the VAT from the invoice.
The document A/OI is enclosed with all first orders placed by CERN with Swiss suppliers, upon reminder by QUALIAC, and it remains valid for a period of five years. The supplier should attach a copy of the document to his invoices.
2. SUPPLIERS IN FRANCE
All supplies and services from suppliers in France should preferably state delivery CERN MEYRIN to avoid paying VAT and waiting for the reimbursement which could take longer than the 3 months forecast. The VAT paid to suppliers in France comes out of a special budget held by the Finance department.
If the total amount of VAT in the order is less than 65 CHF, it is not necessary to export the shipment to Switzerland. 65 CHF is the cost of an export/import declaration to Switzerland at the Meyrin border by Swiss customs agents.
Purchasers should be very careful when preparing orders/contracts involving material/equipment sent to French firms by CERN. If the firm has to modify the material/equipment before it is returned to CERN, this is called "TRAVAIL A FACON", which the local French customs consider a service. The material/equipment should always be sent from CERN PREVESSIN to the supplier as a "temporary shipment". The shipment from the supplier should always be delivered to CERN PREVESSIN. CERN will have to pay the VAT which will be reimbursed.
For heavy, large, high shipments, i.e. over 24 tons and exceeding normal loading gauge on road transport (length 12,5 m, width 2,5 m, height 2,5 m) which are destined for installation in France, the delivery may state CERN PREVESSIN.
For orders/contracts which are very urgent or which may create problems to export from France (see section "Miscellaneous") the delivery may state CERN PREVESSIN.
3. SUPPLIERS IN EU (FRANCE EXCEPTED)
Orders/contracts for supplies can be delivered to CERN PREVESSIN or CERN MEYRIN without preference for either (note section headed "Document 151").
In the case where the delivery (except services) is stated to CERN PREVESSIN, the buyer should be aware that the document 151 is applicable (see relevant section below). The supplier should request this document from the Import / Shipping & Logistics Service by creating a request through the Service Portal.
Orders/contracts for services, without any supplies, should preferably state delivery CERN MEYRIN (CH) through exportation. However for the supply of services, from certain EU-member countries, the invoice will include VAT, as the supply of services is considered a local work process subject to VAT. This presents a problem because there is no mechanism yet in place at CERN to ask the specific country to reimburse the VAT. On the other hand it should be noted that the French government does not grant CERN any exoneration for the supply of services delivered to any site on French territory.
Purchasers should be very careful when preparing orders/contracts where material/equipment is provided by CERN to EU firms. If the firm has to modify the material/equipment before it comes back to CERN, this is called "TRAVAIL A FACON", which is considered a service by the customs authorities, and for which CERN may not be exonerated from VAT. The supply of services is considered a local work process subject to VAT. There is no mechanism in place yet at CERN to ask the specific country to reimburse the VAT. These shipments therefore, as far as possible, should always be delivered to CERN MEYRIN through exportation. This may still not guarantee however that CERN will be exonerated from paying the VAT.
4. SUPPLIERS IN NON-EU (SWITZERLAND EXCEPTED)
For supplies by airfreight from non-EU firms (Switzerland excepted), delivery should preferably state CERN MEYRIN for convenience and better customs clearance conditions in Geneva. This also avoids additional transit costs from LYON SAINT-EXUPERY or PARIS CDG for shipments where delivery would state CERN PREVESSIN. If needed, the supplies can be transferred internally through CERN's Distribution Service from MEYRIN to PREVESSIN.
For deliveries by other modes of transport, the total freight costs (the less expensive transport offer decides, case by case) determine the destination CERN MEYRIN or CERN PREVESSIN, as no VAT is involved.
Orders/contracts for services can ask for the delivery, through exportation, to be carried out at CERN PREVESSIN or CERN MEYRIN without preference for either.
5. 151 DOCUMENT
The official title of the 151 document is "Demande d'Exonération de taxe sur la valeur ajoutée au titre de l'Article 151 de la Directive 2006/112/CE et l'Article 13 de la Directive 2008/118/CE". CERN is exonerated from all taxes and customs duties in accordance with article IX.3 of the Host State Agreement between France and CERN and following article 15.10 of the Sixth Council directive on the harmonisation of VAT legislation in EC-Member States dated 17 May 1977 (EU Directive 77/388/CEE).
For each supply to CERN PREVESSIN, the supplier shall request from CERN's Import / Shipping & Logistics Service the document 151 by creating a request through the Service Portal, which justifies CERN's exoneration of VAT with regard to the national tax authorities of the supplier.
A copy of the order with all references and the firm's VAT ID. no. is required.
A confusing point is that the document 151 involves goods AND services, however the French Custom Authorities refuse to exonerate services. The German Custom Authorities have also recently started to refuse to exonerate services, as the supply of services is considered a local work process subject to VAT.
There is a current problem that suppliers and purchasers are not aware of the document 151. and the Shipping and Logistics Service finds out too late to be able to help. In this case, the service can only try to negotiate with the French customs in order to get their eventual acceptance of the belatedly presented document. In case of a negative answer, the VAT should be borne by the supplier.
Two new codes now exist in QUALIAC: - EX151F (in French) and EX151E (in English). These codes give information to the supplier concerning the document 151 and should be added systematically to each order sent to EU suppliers (France excepted) for shipments to CERN PREVESSIN.
6. TRIANGULAR TRANSPORT
For these cases you should always contact the Shipping and Logistics Service before placing the order/contract as there are many implications involving VAT. Two examples of "triangular transport" figure below, there are of course many more, all of which are unique:
Non-EU supplier delivers raw material to an EU supplier who manufactures a product and delivers to CERN MEYRIN.
EU supplier delivers components to an EU supplier who incorporates them in a product and delivers to CERN MEYRIN.
Urgent orders required for use on French territory should be sent directly to CERN PREVESSIN. In a best case scenario, it takes approximately 15 - 30 minutes to clear supplies through customs when they are delivered to CERN MEYRIN in one complete truck, but in case of grouping of small parcels, the delivery has to wait for a scheduled truck, once every second day.
Some firms have difficulties carrying out export formalities. They should try to get help through their transport company or custom agent, and the Shipping & Logistics service can also be consulted for any questions related to any delivery to CERN.
Private shipments are not allowed, and will become property of CERN after a period of three months following their receipt