ECJ C-267/21 (Uniqa Asigurari) – Questions – Place of supply of claims handling and settlement services (B2C)


Article in the EU VAT Directive

Article 59 of Council Directive 2006/112/EC

Article 59 (Place of supply of services of B2C supplies)
The place of supply of the following services to a non-taxable person who is established or has his permanent address or usually resides outside the Community, shall be the place where that person is established, has his permanent address or usually resides:
(a) transfers and assignments of copyrights, patents, licences, trade marks and similar rights;
(b) advertising services;
(c) the services of consultants, engineers, consultancy firms, lawyers, accountants and other similar services, as well as data processing and the provision of information;
(d) obligations to refrain from pursuing or exercising, in whole or in part, a business activity or a right referred to in this Article;
(e) banking, financial and insurance transactions including reinsurance, with the exception of the hire of safes;
(f) the supply of staff;
(g) the hiring out of movable tangible property, with the exception of all means of transport;
(h) the provision of access to a natural gas system situated within the territory of the Community or to any network connected to such a system, to the electricity system or to heating or cooling networks, or the transmission or distribution through these systems or networks, and the provision of other services directly linked thereto;
(i) telecommunications services;
(j) radio and television broadcasting services;
(k) electronically supplied services, in particular those referred to in Annex II.
Where the supplier of a service and the customer communicate via electronic mail, that shall not of itself mean that the service supplied is an electronically supplied service.


Uniqa offers its clients compulsory third-party liability insurance for motor vehicles with green card coverage, applicable for accidents outside Romania in the countries that are part of the green card system. Uniqa also awards compensation for any costs incurred by the insured/injured party in civil proceedings. Uniqa paid handling fees to the corresponding companies for the claims settlement services they had provided to Uniqa’s clients. Uniqa also offers its clients health insurance for travel abroad. In this regard, a cooperation agreement was concluded on 1 April 2004 between Coris International, Unita Insurance (now Uniqa) and Coris Romania, pursuant to which Coris International, on behalf of and for the account of Uniqa, handles claims submitted by health insurance holders for travel abroad that Uniqa has concluded for its clients, including all organisational, technical and legal services for the handling and settlement thereof. Following a tax audit, a tax audit report and a tax assessment were established, whereby Uniqa was assessed for additional VAT on the treatment fees totaling RON 3 706 077. Uniqa lodged an objection to this, but this objection was rejected. Uniqa then appealed for the annulment of the decision on the objection, for the annulment of the tax assessment and for the unlawfulness of the tax audit report drawn up. The Curte de Apel București upheld the claim in part and annulled the tax assessment for part of the additional assessment, on the ground that the applicant company had suffered damage as a result of unjustified exceeding the duration of the tax audit. That court held that claims handling and settlement services are ‘similar to those provided by engineers’ with reference to Case C-222/09 Kronospan Mielec. Both the applicant and the tax authorities concerned appealed against that judgment to the referring court. The applicant has criticized the assessment of VAT on handling charges for transactions which, in its view, cannot be taxed on Romanian territory.


The Court has already addressed the legal nature of the services provided by corresponding companies in C-40/15, but in the present case the question arises whether these services fall within the category of similar services covered by Article 59(1)c) of the VAT Directive. After answering this question, the referring court can determine exactly where they are liable for VAT.


Can claims handling and settlement services provided by corresponding companies in the name and on behalf of an insurance company pursuant to Article 59 of Council Directive 2006/112/EC of 28 November 2006 on the common system of value added tax are classified in the category of services provided by consultants, engineers, consultancies, lawyers, accountants and other similar services, as well as information processing and disclosure?

AG Opinion


Personal comments/VATupdate 


Similar ECJ cases

C-167/95; (C-145/96); Commission v France (C-429/97); Commission v Germany (C-401/06); (C-222/09); (C-40/15).

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