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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Thursday, 19.04.2018, 20:14

EU: Lithuania's Western Baltija Shipbuilding should recover excise duty for fuel

BC, Vilnius, 14.07.2017.Print version
Vakaru Baltijos Laivu Statykla (Western Baltija Shipbuilding), a Lithuanian group indirectly controlled by Estonia's BLRT Grupp, should recover the excise duty paid for the fuel it supplied to the freight ship it constructed in 2013, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled on July 12th, informs LETA/BNS.

According to the finding, the return of the excise duty is not in violation of the EU directive, which stipulates an excise waiver for the fuel used for commercial navigation in the community's waters.


In June of 2013, Vakaru Baltijos Laivu Statykla delivered a completed freight ship to an unnamed Estonian company, including 73,000 liters of fuel left after the ship testing. The ship sailed from the Lithuanian port of Klaipeda to Germany's Stralsund without a freight before being loaded with a commercial cargo and heading to Santander in Spain.


The shipbuilding company turned to the State Tax Inspectorate in July of 2013 for return of the excise duty for fuel, which had left Lithuania, however, the application was rejected. After the dispute moved to courts, Lithuania's Supreme Administrative Court turned to the EU Court of Justice over the preliminary ruling. The latter found that the route from Klaipeda to Stralsund should be listed as a navigation operation.


"The exemption laid down by that provision applies to fuel used to sail a ship, without cargo, from a port of a member-state, in the present case that where that ship was built, to a port of another member-state in order to take on cargo to be transported to a port of a third member-state," the Court of Justice said in its ruling.


It also noted that the Lithuanian requirement to have a permit to supply fuel for ships and follow other formalities was in violation of the objective of the EU directive.

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