ECJ Case: Rules on German Import VAT Case (C-791/22)

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The European Court of Justice (ECJ) issued a judgment for Case No. C-791/22, addressing German import VAT rules for determining the place where VAT is incurred. The case involved a Poland-based company that transported cigarettes to a German buyer without informing customs authorities. The German Principal Customs Office asserted that the import VAT occurred in Germany, subsequently issuing a tax notice.


The ECJ, upon a request for a preliminary ruling, delivered the following key points:


  1. Incompatibility with EU Directive 2006/112/EC:
    • The national customs legislation was deemed incompatible with the EU Directive on the common system of VAT.
    • The determination of the place of importation must align with the provisions of the EU VAT Directive.
  1. Limitation of National Customs Legislation:
    • The national customs legislation only addressed the time of the chargeable event, not the place of importation.
  1. Revenue Allocation for Import VAT:
    • Import VAT revenue was established to belong to the EU member where financial consumption occurred.



Source: Europa.eu

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