Taxation: Commission refers Poland to Court for failing to remove certain tax exemptions on the use of energy products by highly polluting businesses

 

poland

Warsaw, Poland (Kamil Gliwiński, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.


The Commission decided today to refer Poland to the Court of Justice for allowing energy intensive businesses to be exempted from excise duty on coal and gas.Under Polish legislation and contrary to EU law, certain energy products, such as coal and gas, used by energy intensive businesses that fall under the European Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS) are exempt from excise duty.

Common EU energy tax rules (Council Directive 2003/96/EC) require businesses that benefit from such exemptions, if they have introduced environmental or energy efficiency improvements to go beyond what is required by binding EU instruments such as the EU ETS. However, the Polish legislation does not require such a level of energy efficiency. These rules favour highly polluting activities, and as such run against EU climate objectives and generate major distortions of competition within the EU.

The decision to refer the matter to the Court follows Poland’s failure to bring its legislation into line with EU law following the Commission’s reasoned opinion.

Background

The European Commission sent a letter of formal notice on 8 March 2018, followed by a reasoned opinion on 25 July 2019. Since Poland has not yet complied, the Commission is now bringing the matter before the Court of Justice of the European Union.

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