Official Journal of the European Union
Order of the Court (Eighth Chamber) of 7 February 2022 (request for a preliminary ruling from the Tribunal Arbitral Tributário (Centro de Arbitragem Administrativa — CAAD) — Portugal) — Vapo Atlantic SA v Autoridade Tributária e Aduaneira
(Case C-460/21) (1)
(Reference for a preliminary ruling - Article 99 of the Rules of Procedure of the Court - Excise duties - Directive 2008/118/EC - Article 1(2) - Levying, for specific purposes, of other indirect taxes - ‘Specific purposes’ - Definition - Financing of a public undertaking holding the concession contract in respect of the national road network - Objectives of environmental sustainability and reducing accidents - Purely budgetary purpose - Refusal to reimburse a tax based on unjust enrichment - Conditions)
Language of the case: Portuguese
Tribunal Arbitral Tributário (Centro de Arbitragem Administrativa — CAAD)
Parties to the main proceedings
Applicant: Vapo Atlantic SA
Defendant: Autoridade Tributária e Aduaneira
Operative part of the order
By order of the Court of 7 February 2022, the Court (Eighth Chamber) rules:
Article 1(2) of Council Directive 2008/118/EC of 16 December 2008 concerning the general arrangements for excise duty and repealing Directive 92/12/EEC must be interpreted as meaning that a charge, the revenue from which is allocated, in a generic manner, to a public undertaking holding the concession contract for the national road network and the structure of that charge does not indicate an intention to discourage the consumption of the main road fuels, does not pursue ‘specific purposes’ within the meaning of that provision.
EU law must be interpreted as precluding national authorities from being able to justify their refusal to reimburse an indirect charge that is contrary to Directive 2008/118 by assuming that that charge has been passed on to third parties and, as a result, that the taxable person has been unjustly enriched.
(1) Date lodged: 26/7/2021.