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ECJ C-677/19 (Valoris vs. RO) Judgement: Repayment period of one year for EU breach allowed, as long as it also applies for local breaches

This is not a VAT case, but this case sees to environmental tax for motor vehicles.  Following various ECJ cases in 2016, Romania introduced a law whereby the environmental taxes levied in violation of EU law could be reclaimed.  The ECJ ruled that a Romanian repayment period of one year for a charge levied in breach of EU law is not contrary to the principle of effectiveness. It is contrary to the principle of equivalence if Romania has not set a corresponding time limit for similar requests for refund based on a breach of national law.

The principle of effectiveness, read in conjunction with the principle of sincere cooperation, must be interpreted as not precluding legislation of a Member State from setting a time limit of approximately one year running from the entry into force of that legislation, which aims to remedy the infringement of EU law, in which applications for the reimbursement of taxes held to be incompatible with EU law must be lodged, failing which such applications will be time-barred.

The principle of equivalence, read in conjunction with the principle of sincere cooperation, must be interpreted as precluding legislation of a Member State from setting a time limit of approximately one year in which applications for reimbursement of taxes held to be incompatible with EU law must be lodged, failing which such applications will be time-barred, while no such time limit has been laid down by that Member State in respect of similar applications for reimbursement based on an infringement of national law.

Source: Curia

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