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IP/09/432

Brussels, 19 March 2009

VAT: the European Commission refers Greece to the European Court of Justice for failing to notify the transposition of two VAT Directives into national law

The European Commission has decided to refer Greece to the European Court of Justice for failing to notify the Commission of the measures it adopted to transpose Directives 2006/69/EC and 2006/112/EC into national law.

The quest for better governance in the application of Community law requires Member States to comply strictly with the time limits for transposing Community directives. Member States not only have to transpose directives but must also notify the Commission of the measures they have adopted by entering the laws, regulations or administrative provisions in the Commission's ad hoc database. Even if a transposition measure is not necessary because the Member State concerned has already implemented the Directive in question, that Member State is nevertheless obliged to notify the Commission of this.

Since Greece has failed to inform the Commission of the steps it had taken to comply with Directives 2006/69/EC and 2006/112/EC, despite the reasoned opinions of 18 September 2008 (IP/08/1358), the Commission has decided to refer these two cases to the Court of Justice.

Directive 2006/69/EC brings in more effective and transparent rules allowing Member States to adopt anti-fraud measures more flexibly than before while at the same time repealing certain derogations granted to individual Member States. The Directive entered into force on 31 December 2007.

Directive 2006/112/EC is a recasting of Directive 77/388/EEC, once commonly referred to as the "Sixth VAT Directive", to rationalise into a single statutory instrument the various amendments made to that Directive over time. This Directive entered into force on 1 January 2008.

The files have the reference numbers 2008/0073 and 2008/0277.

For press releases on infringement cases in the taxation or customs field see:

http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/common/infringements/infringement_cases/index_en.htm

For the latest general information on infringement measures against Member States see:

http://ec.europa.eu/community_law/index_en.htm


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