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European Commission - Press release

Taxation: Commission refers Ireland to Court of Justice over fuel excise duty exemption

Brussels, 27 October 2011 – The Commission has decided to refer Ireland to the EU's Court of Justice for failing to correctly implement EU rules on excise duties on fuel. Until the end of 2006, Ireland was allowed to apply an exemption on fuel used by disabled people for their motor vehicles. At the end of 2006 this derogatory regime came to an end. However, Ireland continued applying this exemption. The Commission formally asked Ireland to rapidly remedy this breach of EU law in September 2008. Although the Irish authorities informed the Commission in January 2009 that they would bring their law into line with EU rules, they still have not done so.

In May 2010, the Commission formally requested Ireland to take action within a two-month time limit to ensure full compliance with EU rules in regard to excise duty relief on fuel. However, Ireland has still not amended its legislation in this matter.

This procedure in no way prevents Ireland from adopting other incentive measures to favour mobility of disabled people that would have a less distortive effect on the Single Market.

Background information

For the press releases issued on infringement proceedings in the area of taxation or customs see:

For more information on EU infringement procedures, see MEMO/11/739.

For the most up-to-date general information on the infringement proceedings initiated against Member States, see:

Contacts :

Emer Traynor (+32 2 292 15 48)

Natasja Bohez Rubiano (+32 2 296 64 70)

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