Italy: Reduction in excise tax on fuel in northeast region (CJEU judgment)

Italy: Reduction in excise tax on fuel in northeast

The Court of Justice for the European Union (CJEU) today dismissed an action filed by the European Commission against Italy, with the CJEU concluding that a reduction in excise tax (in the form of a refund of the amount of the excise tax) on fuel purchased by residents of Friuli-Venezia Giulia (an autonomous region located in the northeast of Italy and bordering Austria and Slovenia) did not constitute an infringement on the energy tax directive.


The case is: Commission v. Italy, C-63/19 (14 January 2021)

According to a CJEU release [PDF 238 KB], Italy was previously authorized until the end of 2006 to reduce the rate of excise tax on vehicle fuel purchased on the territory of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia. The grant of that authority was intended to counteract the practice of residents of the region from going across the border and buying fuel for their vehicles at a better price in Slovenia.

After 2006, residents of the region continued to benefit from a reduction in the pump price of fuel, with service station operators granting reductions in the price of fuel. The regional administration subsequently refunded to the service station operators an amount equal to that of the price reductions granted.

The EC asserted that this regime resulted in an unauthorised reduction, in the form of a refund, of the excise taxes applicable to petrol and diesel sold to residents of the region and that this constituted an infringement of the energy tax directive (which in part establishes minimum excise tax rates to be applied by EU Member States). The EC filed an action against Italy.

Today, the CJEU dismissed the EC’s action.

© 2022 KPMG LLP, a Delaware limited liability partnership and a member firm of the KPMG global organization of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Limited, a private English company limited by guarantee. All rights reserved.

For more detail about the structure of the KPMG global organization please visit

The KPMG name and logo are trademarks used under license by the independent member firms of the KPMG global organization. KPMG International Limited is a private English company limited by guarantee and does not provide services to clients. No member firm has any authority to obligate or bind KPMG International or any other member firm vis-à-vis third parties, nor does KPMG International have any such authority to obligate or bind any member firm. The information contained herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act on such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation. For more information, contact KPMG's Federal Tax Legislative and Regulatory Services Group at: + 1 202 533 4366, 1801 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20006.

Connect with us