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Document 62011CN0360

Case C-360/11: Action brought on 8 July 2011 — European Commission v Kingdom of Spain

OJ C 282, 24.9.2011, p. 8–9 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)

24.9.2011   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

C 282/8


Action brought on 8 July 2011 — European Commission v Kingdom of Spain

(Case C-360/11)

2011/C 282/15

Language of the case: Spanish

Parties

Applicant: European Commission (represented by: L. Lozano Palacios, Agent)

Defendant: Kingdom of Spain

Form of order sought

The applicant claims that the Court should:

declare that, by applying a reduced rate of VAT to:

Medicinal substances which may be used habitually or are suited to the production of medicinal products, in accordance with paragraph 1(5) of the first section of Article 91 and paragraph 1(3) of the second section of Article 91 of the Ley española del IVA (Spanish Law on VAT);

Sanitary products, material, equipment and appliances which, viewed objectively, can be used only to prevent, diagnose, treat, alleviate or cure human or animal illnesses or ailments, but which are not ‘normally intended to alleviate or treat disabilities, for the exclusive personal use of the disabled’, in accordance with the second subparagraph of paragraph 1(6) of the first section of Article 91 of the Spanish Law on VAT;

Aids and equipment which may be used essentially or primarily to treat physical disabilities in animals, in accordance with the first subparagraph of paragraph 1(6) of Article 91 of the Spanish Law on VAT;

Aids and equipment essentially and primarily used to treat human disabilities, but which are not intended for the exclusive personal use of ‘the disabled’; the common understanding of this term is to be assumed, that is as being different from and more restrictive than the term ‘the sick’, in accordance with the first subparagraph of paragraph 1(6) of the first section of Article 91 of the Spanish Law on VAT,

the Kingdom of Spain has failed to fulfil its obligations under Article 98 of Council Directive 2006/112/EC (1) of 28 November 2006 on the common system of value added tax, in conjunction with Annex III thereto;

order the Kingdom of Spain to pay the costs.

Pleas in law and main arguments

The Commission considers that the system of reduced rates laid down in paragraph 1(5) and (6) of the first section of Article 91 and paragraph 1(3) of the second section of the Spanish Law on VAT goes beyond what is authorised by the VAT Directive, since it surpasses the possibilities granted to the Member States in categories 3 and 4 of Annex III to that directive. The interpretation of the Spanish authorities is at odds with the wording and general scheme of the directive and is not in line with the case-law, pursuant to which exceptions to the general rules of the common VAT system must be interpreted strictly.


(1)  OJ 2006 L 347, p. 1.


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