Updated EU VAT rules: as little as 0% VAT for printed books and e-books

  • 11/04/2022

EIBF warmly welcomes ECOFIN’s adoption of updated EU VAT rules, which allow for reduced, super-reduced and even 0% VAT rates for printed books and e-books


On April 5th, the EU’s Economic and Financial Affairs (ECOFIN) ministers reached an agreement to amend and update Directive 2006/112/EC on value-added tax (VAT) rates.


  • What are the changes?

With the updated VAT rates rules, EU countries will be given more freedom and flexibility to apply further reduced VAT rates to a number of “priority goods”, listed in the Directive under Annex III.

The list of “priority goods” includes, among others, cultural items such as books (printed or in electronic format) and press publications.


  • What does this mean for books and e-books?

It means printed books and e-books will be eligible for reduced, super-reduced or even 0% VAT rate in all EU Member States, if the national governments wish to apply it.

EIBF has long advocated for the lowest possible VAT for printed books and e-books, highlighting the socio-economic and cultural benefits for its application.

We, therefore, warmly welcome the newly updated VAT-rates rules and encourage all member states to take note of the decision and apply the lowest possible VAT for books, for the benefit of all readers.


  • Next steps?

It is now up to national member states to implement the lowest VAT rate of their choice for the identified “priority goods”, such as books.

Should this be a priority topic for you, we encourage you to get in touch with their national representatives and relevant politicians, inform them of this update and remind them of the benefits and arguments in favour of the lowest possible VAT rate for books.


For any further questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with