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Spain: Tax lease system, maritime shipping (CJEU judgment)

Spain: Tax lease system, maritime shipping

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) today issued a judgment that sets aside a decision of the General Court concerning the Spanish tax lease system. The General Court had annulled a determination by the European Commission that the system as applied to ships constructed in Spanish shipyards constituted state aid.


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As noted in a release [PDF 220 KB] from the CJEU, the EC had received complaints about the Spanish tax lease system, that alleged the system allowed maritime shipping companies to benefit from a 20% to 30% price reduction when purchasing ships constructed by Spanish shipyards, to the detriment of the shipyards of other EU Member States. 

The EC eventually concluded that certain measures under the system were “illegal” state aid. The General Court, however, annulled the EC’s findings. The EC then appealed to the CJEU to set aside the judgment of the General Court. 

With today’s judgment, the CJEU set aside the General Court’s judgment, and the case is now referred back to the General Court.


Read a July 2018 report prepared by KPMG’s EU Tax Centre

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