Eliminate Use of External Systems to Manage Intrastat on Import Goods

  • by Gaetano Altavilla, Senior SAP Practice Manager
  • April 8, 2009
Gain knowledge about the settings performed across modules to run Intrastat processes in SAP for import goods.
Key Concept

Intrastat is a report needed for intra-European purchases. Each European country must make a declaration for receipt and dispatch of goods between other European countries. This includes distribution center-to-distribution center movements (internal to the company), sales to European vendors, and purchases from European suppliers. Intrastat covers the report for purchases from European suppliers and is co-owned between the departments responsible for master data and for making the final declaration to the local authorities. The purchaser’s report is extracted monthly in each country and merged with reports from other areas of the company. Then it is matched to the Value Added Tax (VAT) declaration and submitted to the authorities before the 10th day of each month.

SAP provides a standard solution to cover the Intrastat processes in Europe, but those solutions are rarely implemented. Instead, most companies rely on local reporting systems (such as legacy systems, Microsoft Excel, or even paper). This is completely unnecessary because SAP provides all the data you need to execute Intrastat within your own system. Furthermore, the Intrastat solution works fine using only the standard tools. What this means is that you can manage Intrastat in SAP with minimum effort.

In my experience taking care of integrated business processes from end to end across SAP modules in the Intrastat field, I have noticed that the most challenging aspects of Intrastat for many companies are the following:

  • Lack of understanding of data flow
  • Lack of master data needed to provide a complete Intrastat declaration
  • Lack of integration aspects in the whole process — such as clear guidelines and training for end users, lack of ownership, and a disconnect between the many local systems used to collect data, which causes additional IT and administrative costs

To solve the main three issues, I will explain how the integration process works, taking into account the data process flow, master data, transaction data, reports, and main customizing settings. Logistics and financial departments should be familiar with this solution and agree on the responsibility split needed to run this process in an appropriate way. They can then exploit the integrated data already available in the system and eliminate use of an external system to handle the Intrastat declarations.

Based on my experience, I’ll provide you with methods I have already implemented in production environments for SAP materials management (MM) and Accounts Payable (AP) in SAP ERP Central Component (SAP ECC) 6.0. I will provide the master data and transactional data needed to run this process in production and include hints on appropriate reports. The processes I describe also apply to previous versions of SAP ERP.

Gaetano Altavilla

Dr. Gaetano Altavilla is a senior SAP practice manager. His focus is on pre-sales, delivery of SAP application solutions for large international corporations, and SAP knowledge management in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA).

In his 18 years of SAP application experience working for many multinational companies, such as Procter & Gamble and Hewlett-Packard, he has covered a wide range of ERP logistic areas, focusing on the MM, WM, SD, LES, PP, PP-PI, PLM (QM, PM, PS) modules, as welll as CRM (TFM), SRM (EBP), SCM (SAP APO), and MES (ME) components.

Dr. Altavilla holds a degree with first-class honors in mathematics from the University of Naples and is certified in many SAP modules: SAP Logistics Bootcamp, SAP MM, SD, LE (SHP/WM/LE), PP, PLM (PM, QM, PS), SRM, CRM, SCM (APO), SCM (TM), FI, CO, and Solution Manager. He also has experience in ABAP/4 and application link enabling (ALE) and IDocs. He has participated in numerous industry conferences, such as the SAP Skills Conference in Walldorf at SAP SE.

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