Tax Notes Int’l

The European Court of Justice on February 21 issued its opinion in SC Mora IPR SRL v. Romania (C-79/ 12), a case on the requirements established for VATdeferred imports from France to Romania that was referred to the ECJ for a preliminary ruling on February 14, 2012, by Romania’s Court of Appeals in Alba Iulia.

Case Background

The taxpayer (Mora IPR) is a Romanian limited liability company that manufactures plastic products. Between August 7 and December 12, 2006, it imported to Romania industrial equipment from France. The imports were carried out under a temporary admission regime that provided for the deferral of import duties and VAT, as authorized by the vice president of the National Agency for Fiscal Administration.

The duration of the temporary admission regime was limited to 24 months, after which Mora IPR was to re-export the goods or put them into free circulation. Mora IPR did not fulfill that requirement, so the customs authority on September 6, 2010, put the goods into free circulation and assessed VAT on their importation.

Mora IPR filed an application with the competent national court, arguing that successive legislative amendments made to article 157 of the Tax Code between April 2007 and December 2008 constitute a restriction on the free movement of goods, are discriminatory in a competitive environment, and caused the company material damage in excess of €300,000.

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