National Customs Agency wins bioethanol case at EU Court of Justice
"From the point of view of economic operators, this judgment clarifies the tax treatment of bioethanol," the NCA press release reads
Bulgaria's National Customs Agency (NCA) said in a press release Friday evening that it has won a case concerning the excisability of bioethanol before the Court of Justice of the European Union. In Case C-503/10 Evroetil AD v. Direktor na Agentsia 'Mitnitsi', the EU Court of Justice rendered Judgment on December 21, 2011, according to which a product obtained from biomass and containing more than 98.5 per cent ethyl alcohol, once it is offered for sale as biofuel for transport, meets the definition of bioethanol in Directive 2003/30.
The Court also determined that this product, which has not been denatured in a special denaturing procedure, must be subject to the excise duty provided for in Directive 92/83 even where it was obtained from biomass using a technology which differs from the technology for the production of agricultural ethyl alcohol, contains substances making it unsuitable for human consumption, satisfies the requirements laid down in European standard prEN 15376 for bioethanol used as fuel, and potentially meets the definition of bioethanol in Directive 2003/30.
Evroetil (it spells its name in English as 'Euro Ethyl Ltd.') operates Bulgaria's (and Southeastern Europe's) first ethanol and bioethanol factory in Alfatar near Silistra, using sugar biomass. The company challenged the lawfulness of an order by the NCA Director for recovery of excise duties on bioethanol for November and December 2006 and for January, March and May 2007.
The order was uphed by the Rousse Administrative Court and was then appealed by Euro Ethyl before the Supreme Administrative Court, which decided to stay the proceedings and to refer four questions to the EU Court for a preliminary ruling.
"By its judgment, the Court in Luxembourg entirely accepted the position of the Director of the National Customs Agency. From the point of view of economic operators, this judgment clarifies the tax treatment of bioethanol," the NCA press release reads.