The German Value-Added Tax (VAT) Implementing Regulation (Umsatzsteuer-Durchführungsverordnung, UStDV) that went into effect on January 1, 2012 implements a controversial intra-EU import/export requirement
-- the so-called "Gelangenbestätigung" (officially translated as "certificate of entry") --
for which a postponement of enforcement has been provided until June 30, 2012.
The Tax Executives Institute, Inc. ("TEI") has detailed comments in English about the new rules in a letter submitted to the European Commission (online as Europe – TEI Comments on German VAT Documentation Rules), writing inter alia:
If you have a client or business who could be affected,"Although the new rules have been touted as simplifying compliance for businesses, business groups contended that the new requirements would create new risks and effectively render zero-rating inapplicable to certain transactions....In response to these concerns, the German Finance Ministry postponed the effective date of the new documentation requirement for intra-community sales to the end of June 2012. This extension provides time for the German government to craft changes to support the goal of reducing fraud without placing undue burdens on legitimate businesses or eliminating the ability for some businesses to utilize intra-community zero-rating at all."
make sure to read the TEI article on this topic.