VAT-Reimbursement or why American should choose European destinations for their events and meetings

For the second time, ECM provided a 45-minute educational slot during Smart Monday, ahead of IMEX America, on October 12, 2015, breaking barriers and preconceived ideas on VAT in Europe.

_UPA2831Smart Monday powered by MPI (Meetings Professionals International) and supported by other association partners, including ECM, opened IMEX America 2015 on Monday, October 12. This event provided clients (agencies, associations and corporate involved with meetings, conferences, and conventions) a full day of education in various learning formats and cutting-edge career development.

The ECM session entitled “VAT-reimbursement and trends and new developments in European cities.” was moderated by Heike Mahmoud (ECM Past Vice-President for the Meetings Industry and Director Conventions visitBerlin, Berlin Conventions Office). Speakers Marc Lieber and Jean-François Benard, VAT consultants at BC&A (specialised in managing and recovering VAT for association events, corporate meetings and incentives) gave an overview of the VAT recovery processes, and what is required to be VAT compliant when holding events in Europe. The speakers underlined that for corporate meetings, recovery can be pretty straight forward in many cases, and is possible in many more countries than what is often thought.

Regarding association events (conference, convention), Lieber and Benard broke the convential wisdom by answering questions about the registration delays, about correct “place of supply”, whether or not non-profit have to register and the condition of application of the “reverse charge”.

Heike Mahmoud commented: “I was excited to moderate once again a session at Smart Monday. ECM Members regularly report the challenge for American clients to choose European destinations because of the VAT barrier. This session really helped American clients understand how they can get the VAT back, safe budgets and choose European destination without apprehension.”


*European Cities Marketing is a non-profit organisation improving the competitiveness and performance of leading cities of Europe by providing a platform for convention, leisure and city marketing professionals to exchange knowledge, best practice and widen their network to build new business. European Cities Marketing is promoting and linking the interests of members from more than 100 major cities in 36 countries.

For more information and pictures, please contact:
Flavie Baudot,, +33 380 56 02 00


*IMEX America is America’s worldwide exhibition for incentive travel, meetings and events and is the largest tradeshow for the industry in the USA. The next edition will take place in Las Vegas, October 18-20, 2016. Visit for more information.


*BC&A is a Consultant group specialized in the management and recovery of VAT for business event. In the past two years BC&A has taken care of the VAT/GST for hundreds of events with as many as 15,000 participants. Visit for more information.