VIES – Useful information needed in case of unavailability of VAT Information Exchange System

Dear customers, due to numerous questions from you regarding possible errors returned by the VIES system and frequent cases of VIES unavailability, we have prepared this entry to collect all the most important information on this subject in one place.

At the beginning, we would like to recall the basic and most important assumption regarding the functioning of VIES from the point of view of system availability:

The verification is done against the national VAT database corresponding to the selected Member State / Northern Ireland. There is no VAT database at Community level. For the purpose of the verification, your request is sent to the national database via a secure Intranet service connecting national Customs and Taxation administrations and the reply is sent back in a few seconds.


MS_MAX_CONCURRENT_REQ error for Germany (DE) EU VAT numbers

First of all, one of the most common errors is the MS_MAX_CONCURRENT_REQ error, which, according to our statistics, occurs in 95% of cases when verifying EU VAT numbers from Germany (DE). We described this issue in detail in our previous post on our website: Serious problems (MS_MAX_CONCURRENT_REQ error) with verifying companies from Germany (starting with DE) in VIES. We encourage you to click on the link and learn about the source of the problem and possible workaround.


Other possible errors returned by VIES

Below is a list of errors and their interpretation that may still be returned by the VIES system:

 Service unavailable. Please re-submit your request later an error was encountered either at the network level or the Web application level.
 Member State / Northern Ireland service unavailable. Please re-submit your request later – the application at the Member State / Northern Ireland is not replying or not available. Please refer to the Self Monitoring page to check the status of the requested Member State / Northern Ireland.
 Request time-out the application did not receive a reply within the allocated time period. Please try again later.
 Your request for VAT validation has not been processed. The VAT Number is currently blocked, please contact TAXUD-VIESWEB for further information The VAT number you are requesting cannot be verified. Please contact TAXUD-VIESWEB for further information.
 Your Request for VAT validation has not been processed. The maximum number of concurrent requests has been reached. Please re-submit your request later or contact TAXUD-VIESWEB for further information Your request cannot be processed due to high traffic on the web application. Please try again later.

Self Monitoring page

For some time now, the team maintaining the VAT Information Exchange System has made it possible to independently check the availability of systems in individual European Union member states on the official website of the VIES system.

vies monitoring page

Therefore, if you receive a message about the unavailability of the service in a given Member State, we encourage you to visit the Self Monitoring official website and check the status of the country for which the query returned an error.


Unavailability Shifts

To find out about the unavailability shifts of the VIES system, please click on the image below, which presents a list of planned unavailability of systems verifying EU VAT numbers in individual member states:

vies unavailability shifts

Source: VAT Information Exchange System official website.