Customs Duties and Internal Taxation

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  • Created on: 12-03-16 23:36
Art 28 TFEU
The Customs Union covers ‘all trade in goods’ and prohibits customs duties
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Commission v Italy (First Art Treasure case) (1968)
‘Goods’=Products which can be valued in money and which are capable, as such, of forming the subject of commercial transactions. Anything capable of money valuation and of being the object of commercial transactions
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Art 30 TFEU
‘Customs duties on imports and exports and charges having equivalent effect [CHEE] shall be prohibited between MSs’
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Van Gend en Loos (1962)
The prohibition applies to all duties whether applied directly or indirectly (e.g. the imposition of a higher rate of tax by 8% on imports
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Commission v Italy (1969)
It is the effect of the customs duty that is crucial, not the stated purpose for which the tax was levied, e.g. a charge on exports of art and cultural items identified as to protect ‘artistic, historic and archaeological heritage’ was unlawful as it
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Commission v Italy (1969) and Sociaal Fonds (1969)
A CHEE = any pecuniary charge however small and whatever its designation and mode of application, which is imposed unilaterally on domestic or foreign goods by reason of the fact that they cross a frontier
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Sociaal Fonds (1969))
Customs duties and CHEEs are prohibited regardless of the purpose for which they were intro’d
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Commission v Luxembourg (Gingerbread case) (1962)
e.g. a charge on imported gingerbread redesignated by the state as a ‘special duty’, nonetheless retained attributes of a CHEE and thus unlawful
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Commission v Germany (1988)
provided 3 exceptions where CHEEs would be lawful: services/mandatory inspections/ general systems of taxation
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Commission v Belgium (Customs Warehousing case) (1983))
The amount charged must be commensurate with the costs of the services provided
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Rewe-Zentralfinanz (1975)
The benefit of the service must be tangible – if imposed in the general interest only, then no service is given and the charge is unlawful
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Bresciani (1976)
The benefit was also said to be intangible where it was a compulsory public health inspection of rawhides
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Commission v Italy (Statistical Levy case) (1969)
The benefit was also said to be intangible where it the MS collected general statistical data which benefitted the whole Italian economy
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Commission v Italy (1989)
A ‘genuine service’ must be received – e.g. where customs formalities were charged but carried out during normal office hours, then this was not a genuine service and thus the charge was disproportionate
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Commission v Belgium (1983)
Where the inspections are merely permitted by the EU, then no fees can be recovered by the state
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Commission v Germany (1988)
Where the inspections are mandatory as part of Union regime and promotes the free movement of goods, then the cost of the provision can be recovered by the MS
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Commission v Germany (1988)
charge may be made where:actual costs not exceeded/inspections uniformly applied/prescribed by Community law/promote free movement of goods
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Bakker v Hillegom (1990)
this criteria was applied and it was found that the charges for plant inspections only in relation to exported products would amount to CHEEs
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Dansk Denkavit (1988)
A charge levied to fund the cost of checking imported samples of foodstuffs for quality, which was imposed using same criteria as applied to domestic came under this exception as it was part of an internal system of dues
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Bresciani (1976)
Public health inspections on domestic and imported goods was seen by CJEU to be in public interest, and thus to be paid by public funds of taxation, however, the system was unlawful as there was a different criteria for domestic and imported cowhides
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Art 110(1) TFEU
No MS shall impose, directly or indirectly, on the products of other MSs any internal taxation of any kind in excess of that imposed directly or indirectly on similar domestic products
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Art 110(2) TFEU
No MS shall impose on the products of other MSs any internal taxation of such a nature as to afford indirect protection to other products
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Commission v Italy (Regenerated Oil) (1980)
Direct discrimination= where there are similar goods and the imported goods are treated less favourably than domestic goods (here, Italian policy of charging lower taxes on regenerated oil than normal oil gave benefits that only domestic oil producer
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Humblot (1985)
Indirect discrimination= where re similar goods, although a tax system prima facie makes no overt distinction between domestic and imported goods, it has the effect of discriminating against imported goods in practise (here, it was based on engine si
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Art 110(1) TFEU
Where the goods are held to be ‘similar’ products, the tax system of the MS must treat the domestic and imported products in the same way
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Commission v France (1980)
‘similarity’ will be objectively assessed, by depending on the products having similar characteristics and meeting the same needs from the point of view of consumers
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Rewe-Zentrale (1979)
Central test of similarity is whether, at the same stage of production or marketing, the products had similar characteristics and met the same needs from the point of view of consumers
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Cooperativa Co-Frutta (1987)
It does not matter whether MS does not produce the imported goods, but only imports it
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Comission v Italy (1987)
An assessment of bananas and ‘table fruit typically produced in Italy’ was made on basis of their organoleptic characteristics and their water content, and consumer needs
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John Walker 1986)
Fruit liqueur wine (fruit-based, made by natural fermentation and 40% alcohol) was different to scotch whisky (cereal-based, distillation, 20%)
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Commission v Denmark (The wine case) (1980)
Goods do not need to be identical-merely similar and comparable- Wine made from fruit=similar to wine made from grapes: they were manufactured from same basic product and process; their taste and alcohol content were similar; they both met same needs
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Tarantik (1999)
Products e.g. cars are similar for purposes of Art 110(1) if their characteristics and needs which they serve place them in a competitive relationship; degree of competition depends on extent to which they meet various requirements e.g. price, size,
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Art 110(2) TFEU)
If the products are found to be in competition with each other, then any protective effect in the system of taxation must be removed
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Commission v France (Spirits case) (1980)
Question is: if one product is rendered more expensive, are consumers likely to switch to the other product?
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Commission v UK (Wine and beer case) (1980)
CJEU: wine and beer were in competition as the higher tax on wine had the effect of stamping wine with the hallmarks of a luxury product – further evidence needed to show if wine and beer are ‘interchangeable beverages’
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Commission v Italy (1987)
Do the products offer alternative choices to each other?
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FG Roders (1995)
Could the tax imposed on the imported goods result in the potential reduction in the purchase by consumers of the imported product?
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

‘Goods’=Products which can be valued in money and which are capable, as such, of forming the subject of commercial transactions. Anything capable of money valuation and of being the object of commercial transactions

Back

Commission v Italy (First Art Treasure case) (1968)

Card 3

Front

‘Customs duties on imports and exports and charges having equivalent effect [CHEE] shall be prohibited between MSs’

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

The prohibition applies to all duties whether applied directly or indirectly (e.g. the imposition of a higher rate of tax by 8% on imports

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

It is the effect of the customs duty that is crucial, not the stated purpose for which the tax was levied, e.g. a charge on exports of art and cultural items identified as to protect ‘artistic, historic and archaeological heritage’ was unlawful as it

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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