Last updated: 29 March 2017

Bird & Bird's EU Legislation Tracker highlights Regulations and Directives scheduled to take effect or to be implemented by Member States in the period prior to the UK's departure from the EU. It does not provide an exhaustive survey. Instead, we have sought to summarise some of the key legislation, both draft and finalised, which we are tracking in the run up to Brexit and which are likely to be of interest to companies which do business in the UK and/or elsewhere in Europe.

The Tracker includes a short commentary on the substance of each of the measures identified, and a timeline for their known or likely effective dates (for Regulations) or implementation deadlines (for Directives). These are colour coded by reference to the likely date of Brexit.

For the purposes of the Tracker, we have assumed that the UK will exit the EU two years from its service of the Article 50 notice (i.e. on 29th March 2019). However, a transitional period is expected to follow, until the end of 2020, during which the UK will be required to continue to align its laws with those of the EU Single Market and Customs Union. It is currently expected that the EU Withdrawal Bill will be enacted with effect from the exit date and that the resulting Act will retain all EU Regulations (and statutory instruments implementing EU Directives) in UK domestic law. However, the Act is also expected to enable amendments to such Regulations by statutory instruments during a two-years period, and this process will determine the final form, in UK domestic law, of such legislation now summarised in our Tracker.

Implementation status 
  Implementation deadline/effective date likely to be pre-Brexit
  Implementation deadline/effective date likely to be post-Brexit
 Timeline  EU legislation

Several legislative proposals in respect of the Action Plan are planned for 2017. See below for the VAT DSM package as part of this wider Action Plan, presented in December 2016.


EU VAT Action Plan - adopted by the EU Commission in April 2016 and which presents measures and objectives to modernise the EU VAT system and create a single EU VAT area.

  • The key objective is to set up a definitive VAT system for intra-EU Business-to-Business (B2B) cross-border trade involving a destination based single EU VAT area/system for goods and services. Several legislative proposals in respect of the Action Plan are planned for 2017.
  • In particular, for goods, the proposal is to require the supplier to collect VAT due on cross-border supplies at the customer's country VAT rate via an online portal in their home country/in the Member State of departure.

Read more >


Implementation deadline:

[Likely 31 December 2017?]


Draft: Dispute Resolution: Proposed Council Directive on Double Taxation Dispute Resolution Mechanisms in the European Union

  • Draft double taxation legislation.
  • The draft Directive was published on 25 October 2016.
  • Includes measures to improve double taxation dispute resolution mechanisms where taxes are paid on the same profits in more than one member state.

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Implementation deadline:

[Likely 31 December 2018?]


Draft: Common Corporate Tax Base ('CCTB'): Proposal for a Council Directive on a Common Corporate Tax Base 2016/0337

  • The proposals were launched on 25 October 2016. 
  • Large multinational groups which have global revenues exceeding €750 million a year will become subject to a single rulebook to calculate their taxable profits throughout the EU. Additionally, loopholes associated with profit shifting will be closed, R&D will be encouraged via tax incentives, a mechanism will be introduced to better resolve double taxation disputes, and financing through equity rather than debt will be encouraged.

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Implementation deadline:

[2018/pre Brexit (likely):
- New VAT thresholds and simplified evidence requirements for SMEs
- Certain MOSS improvements on invoicing, record keeping and widening access for non-EU sellers
- VAT rate changes for e-books

However, please note that for all other elements of these proposals there is a post Brexit deadline of 2021 as IT systems need to be developed]


Draft: VAT proposals specific for the Digital Single Market and as part of the wider VAT Action Plan: Proposal for a Council Directive amending Directive 2006/112/EC and Directive 2009/132/EC as regards certain value added tax obligations for supplies of services and distance sales of goods, and proposal for a Council Directive amending Directive 2006/112/EC, as regards rates of value added tax applied to books, newspapers and periodicals

  • Proposals were adopted by the Commission on 1 December 2016 to modernise VAT rules for cross border B2C e-commerce and are currently going through the consultation procedure.
  • The proposal would extend the EU's special Mini-One-Stop Shop ("MOSS") online VAT compliance concept to cover online distance sales of goods and other services and for certain imports.

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Implementation deadline:

Member States should apply the Directive measures by 1 January 2019. This is the general deadline for implementation.


The Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive: Directive (EU) 2016/1164 laying down rules against tax avoidance practices that directly affect the functioning of the internal market

  • Anti-tax avoidance Directive.
  • Adopted by the Council on 12 July 2016.

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Implementation deadline: 


[Likely December 2020 (becoming effective 1 January 2021)?]




Draft: Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base ('CCCTB'): Proposal for a Council Directive on a Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base 2016/0336

  • The proposals were launched on 25 October 2016.
  • Following introduction of a CCTB it is proposed that a CCCTB will be introduced underwhich large groups will account for corporate tax on a consolidated basis across Europe will the tax revenue being divided by member states by means of a formula.

Read more >

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