Accept Refuse

EUR-Lex Access to European Union law

Back to EUR-Lex homepage

This document is an excerpt from the EUR-Lex website

Document 62010CN0596

Case C-596/10: Action brought on 16 December 2010 — European Commission v French Republic

OJ C 72, 5.3.2011, p. 11–11 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)



Official Journal of the European Union

C 72/11

Action brought on 16 December 2010 — European Commission v French Republic

(Case C-596/10)

2011/C 72/18

Language of the case: French


Applicant: European Commission (represented by: F. Dintilhac and M. Afonso, acting as Agents)

Defendant: French Republic

Form of order sought

declare that, in applying a reduced rate of VAT to transactions relating to equidae and in particular to horses, where they are not as a matter of course intended for use in the preparation of foodstuffs or in agricultural production, the French Republic has failed to fulfil its obligations under Articles 96 to 99 of the VAT Directive (1) and of Annex III thereto;

order the French Republic to pay the costs.

Pleas in law and main arguments

The Commission raises two complaints in support of its action relating to the non-compliance with the VAT Directive by the national legislation that, firstly, makes transactions that do not fall within the exceptions set out in Annex III to that directive subject to a reduced rate of 5,5 % and, secondly, makes some transactions subject to a reduced rate of 2,1 %.

In its first complaint, the applicant points out that, apart from the fact that it applies a reduced rate of VAT of 5,5 % to transactions concerning live equidae without differentiating as to their use, the French legislation lays down yet more provisions which are not in accordance with the VAT Directive and, in particular, with paragraphs (1) and (11) of Annex III to that directive.

In its second complaint, the Commission criticises the defendant’s administrative practice of applying a rate of 2,1 % to sales to persons not subject to VAT of live animals not intended for use as meat and meat products, and in particular horses for racing, competitions, pleasure and riding.

(1)  Council Directive 2006/112/EC of 28 November 2006 on the common system of value added tax (OJ 2006 L 347, p. 1)