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Document 62019CN0063

Case C-63/19: Action brought on 29 January 2019 — European Commission v Italian Republic

OJ C 112, 25.3.2019, p. 35–36 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, HR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)

25.3.2019   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

C 112/35


Action brought on 29 January 2019 — European Commission v Italian Republic

(Case C-63/19)

(2019/C 112/41)

Language of the case: Italian

Parties

Applicant: European Commission (represented by: R. Lyal and F. Tomat, acting as Agents)

Defendant: Italian Republic

Form of order sought

The Commission claims that the Court should:

find that, by applying a reduction to rates of excise duty on the basis of the regional legislation adopted by the Friuli-Venezia Giulia Region, which provides for a contribution system in respect of petrol and gas oil used as motor fuel, in connection with the sale of such products to residents of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia Region, the Italian Republic has failed to fulfil its obligations under Articles 4 and 19 of Council Directive 2003/96/EC of 27 October 2003 restructuring the Community framework for the taxation of energy products and electricity; (1)

order the Italian Republic to pay the costs.

Pleas in law and main arguments

The regional legislation adopted by the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region has introduced a contribution system in respect of petrol and gas oil used as motor fuel, in connection with the sale of such products to residents of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia Region. The system provides, in essence, that, at the time the fuel is purchased from the pump, service station operators are to pay out a fixed amount (per litre) reducing the price owed for the fuel. The regional administrative authority is to repay the service station operators the amount paid out on the purchases of fuel made by the recipients.

The scheme of Directive 2003/96/EC, which has restructured the Community framework for the taxation of energy products and electricity, requires that throughout the whole territory of every Member State there must be a single level of taxation for each product and for each use. That principle derives from the general scheme of the directive, and in particular from what is set out in recitals 5 and 15, from the wording of the provisions of that directive, and from a systematic interpretation of all those provisions. It is possible to derogate from the principle whereby each Member State must provide for a single level of taxation for each product and for each use only in the cases expressly provided for in that directive. Directive 2003/96 lays down a series of provisions enabling the Member States to apply reductions, exemptions or differentiations to the level of taxation in respect of specific products or specific uses, in particular in Articles 5, 7, 15, 16 and 17 of that directive and in Articles 18 and 19 thereof. Such reductions, exemptions or differentiations may be implemented by the Member States using the methods set out in Article 6 of that directive, which provides that Member States are to be free to give effect to exemptions or reductions directly, by means of a differentiated rate or by refunding all or part of the amount of taxation.

According to the Commission, the case at hand constitutes a reduction in the rates of excise duty on motor fuel not permitted by Directive 2003/96/EC on the taxation of energy products.

The Commission therefore considers that in the case at hand the Italian Republic has failed to fulfil its obligations under Articles 4 and 19 of Council Directive 2003/96/EC of 27 October 2003 restructuring the Community framework for the taxation of energy products and electricity.


(1)  OJ 2003 L 283, p. 51.


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