Brussels, 31 January 2008
Direct taxation: Commission takes steps against Belgium for failure to adopt national implementing measures of the Merger Directive
The European Commission has formally requested Belgium to transpose into national law the 2005 Directive (IP/05/193) amending the Mergers Directive and to communicate the national implementing measures. The request takes the form of a ‘reasoned opinion’ (second step of the infringement procedure provided for in article 226 of the EC Treaty). If the relevant national legislation is not amended in order to comply with the reasoned opinion, the Commission may decide to refer the matter to the European Court of Justice.
The Commission has decided to act against Belgium for failure to adequately transpose into national law a Directive adopted in 2005. The Directive is amending Directive 90/434/EEC on the common system of taxation applicable to mergers, divisions, transfers of assets and exchanges of shares concerning companies of different Member States.
The deadline for transposing the second part of the provisions of Directive 2005/19/EC expired on 1 January 2007. Article 2 paragraph (2) and (3) of the Directive 2005/19/EC stipulates the obligation of Member States to communicate in due time to the Commission the measures adopted at national level in order to implement the provisions of the Directive.
Having failed to notify the national implementing measures by 1 January 2007, the Commission sent a letter of formal notice asking Belgium to reply within two months.
In the absence of an answer to the letter of formal notice the Commission has decided to send Belgium a reasoned opinion in accordance with Article 226 of the EC Treaty.
The Commission's reference number for the case at issue is 2007/0220.
The European Commission has already referred Belgium to the Court of Justice of the European Communities (ECJ) for failing to transpose into national law the provisions of the same Directive at issue which were due to be transposed by 1st January 2006. The ECJ case reference number is C-392/07.
For the press releases issued on infringement procedures in the taxation or customs area see:
For the latest general information on infringement measures against Member States see:
 Council Directive 2005/19/EC of 17 February 2005 amending Directive 90/434/EEC 1990 on the common system of taxation applicable to mergers, divisions, transfers of assets and exchanges of shares concerning companies of different Member States (OJ L 058, 04.03.2005, p. 19-27).