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Business::Tax::VAT::Validation - Validate EU VAT numbers against VIES/HMRC


  use Business::Tax::VAT::Validation;

  my $hvatn=Business::Tax::VAT::Validation->new();

  # Check number
  if ($hvatn->check($VAT, [$member_state])){
        print "OK\n";
  } else {
        print $hvatn->get_last_error;


This class provides an easy API to check European VAT numbers' syntax, and check if they have been registered by the competent authorities.

It asks the EU database (VIES) for this, using its SOAP API. Basic checks that the supplied VAT number fit the expected format for the specified EU member state are performed first, to avoid unnecessarily sending queries to VIES for input that could never be valid.

It also supports looking up VAT codes from the United Kingdom by using the REST API provided by their HMRC.


new Class constructor.

    # If your system is located behind a proxy :

    $hvatn=Business::Tax::VAT::Validation->new(-proxy => ['http', '']);

    # Note : See LWP::UserAgent for proxy options.


member_states Returns all supported country codes.

These are ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country codes with two exceptions. This module supports VAT codes from all current European Union member states and The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

EL Greece

Must be used in place of Greece's proper code.

XI Northern Ireland

May be used rather than GB for checking a Northern Irish company.

regular_expressions - Returns a hash list containing one regular expression for each country

If you want to test a VAT number format ouside this module, e.g. embedded as javascript in a web form.



    AT      =>  'U[0-9]{8}',
    SK        =>  '[0-9]{10}',


check - Checks if a VAT number exists in the VIES database
    $ok=$hvatn->check($vatNumber, [$countryCode]);

You may either provide the VAT number under its complete form (e.g. BE-123456789, BE123456789) or specify the VAT and MSC (vatNumber and countryCode) individually.

Valid MS values are :

 AT, BE, BG, CY, CZ, DE, DK, EE, EL, ES,
 FI, FR, GB, HR, HU, IE, IT, LU, LT, LV,
local_check - Checks if a VAT number format is valid This method is based on regexps only and DOES NOT ask the VIES database
    $ok=$hvatn->local_check($VAT, [$member_state]);
    # Get all available information as a hashref:
    my $info = $hvatn->information();

    # Get a particular key:
    my $address = $hvatn->information('address');

Which information is offered depends on the checker used - for UK VAT numbers, checked via the HMRC API, address is the only key which will be set.

For EU VAT numbers checked via VIES, you can expect name and address. This hashref will be reset every time you call check() or local_check()

get_last_error_code - Returns the last recorded error code
get_last_error - Returns the last recorded error
    my $err = $hvatn->get_last_error_code();
    my $txt = $hvatn->get_last_error();

Possible errors are :

  • -1 The provided VAT number is valid (so, no error occurred)

  • 0 Unknown MS code : Internal checkup failed (Specified Member State does not exist)

  • 1 Invalid VAT number format : Internal checkup failed (bad syntax)

  • 2 This VAT number doesn't exist in EU database : distant checkup

  • 3 This VAT number contains errors : distant checkup

  • 17 Time out connecting to the database : Temporary error when the connection to the database times out

  • 18 Member Sevice Unavailable: The EU database is unable to reach the requested member's database.

  • 19 The EU database is too busy.

  • 20 Connexion to the VIES database failed.

  • 21 The VIES interface failed to parse a stream. This error occurs unpredictabely, so you should retry your validation request.

  • 257 Invalid response, please contact the author of this module. : This normally only happens if this software doesn't recognize any valid pattern into the response document: this generally means that the database interface has been modified, and you'll make the author happy by submitting the returned response !!!

  • 500 The VIES server encountered an internal server error. Error 500 : soap:Server TIMEOUT Error 500 : soap:Server MS_UNAVAILABLE

If error_code > 16, you should temporarily accept the provided number, and periodically perform new checks until response is OK or error < 17 If error_code > 256, you should temporarily accept the provided number, contact the author, and perform a new check when the software is updated.

get_last_response - Returns the full last response


LWP::UserAgent for the FAQs related to the VIES service. for details of the service provided by the UK's HMRC.


If you find this module useful, or have any comments, suggestions or improvements, feel free to let me know.


Original author: Bernard Nauwelaerts <>

Maintainership since 2015: David Precious (BIGPRESH) <>


Many thanks to the following people, actively involved in the development of this software by submitting patches, bug reports, new members regexps, VIES interface changes,... (sorted by last intervention) :

  • Gregor Herrmann, Debian.

  • Graham Knop.

  • Bart Heupers, Netherlands.

  • Martin H. Sluka, noris network AG, Germany.

  • Simon Williams, UK2 Limited, United Kingdom

  • Benoît Galy, Greenacres, France

  • Raluca Boboia, Evozon, Romania

  • Dave O., POBox, U.S.A.

  • Kaloyan Iliev, Digital Systems, Bulgaria.

  • Tom Kirkpatrick, Virus Bulletin, United Kingdom.

  • Andy Wardley, individual, United Kingdom.

  • Robert Alloway, Service Centre, United Kingdom.

  • Torsten Mueller, Archesoft, Germany

  • Dave Lambley (davel), GoDaddy, United Kingdom

    item * Tatu Wikman (tswfi)


GPL3. Enjoy! See COPYING for further information on the GPL.


See to known the limitations of the EU validation service.

  This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY;
  without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.