Taxation: Commission decides to refer the UNITED KINGDOM to the Court of Justice of the EU due to its failure to comply with EU rules on marked fuel

The European Commission has decided today to refer the UK to the Court of Justice of the EU and to request that the Court order the payment of financial penalties for the UK’s failure to comply with a Court ruling in relation to EU rules on marked fuel.

In its judgment of 17 October 2018 (Commission v United Kingdom, C-503/17), the Court found that, by allowing the use of marked fuel for the purposes of propelling private pleasure craft even where that fuel is not subject to any exemption from or reduction in excise duty, the UK has failed to fulfil its obligations under EU rules on the fiscal marking of gas oils and kerosene (Council Directive 95/60/EC).

As of today, the UK has still not amended its rules to comply with EU law as laid down in the ruling. On 15 May 2020, the Commission sent the UK a letter of formal notice under Article 260(2) TFEU. However, the UK has not taken appropriate steps to implement the Court’s judgment.

Therefore, and as part of today’s decision, the Commission is also calling on the Court of Justice of the EU to impose financial sanctions in the form of a lump sum and a daily penalty payment. The lump sum covers the period between the first judgment of the Court of Justice and either the day of full compliance by the UK with that judgment or the day of the judgment under Article 260(2) TFEU. The daily penalty payment covers the period after the judgment of the Court of Justice under Article 260(2) TFEU up to the date of compliance.

For More Information

On key decisions in the 12/2020 infringements package, see full MEMO/20/2142.

FAQ on infringements procedures, see MEMO/12/12.

On the EU infringements procedure.