Italië mag geen bijzondere belasting heffen op Algerijns gas (en)
The European Commission has decided to bring an action in the Court of Justice against Italy for imposing the Sicilian environmental tax. The Commission considers that this tax, which is essentially levied on natural gas from Algeria, infringes the European Community's Common Customs Tariff and runs counter to the basic principles governing the common commercial policy and the EU's international obligations under the Cooperation Agreement with Algeria. The Italian authorities have not replied to the reasoned opinion (the second stage of the infringement proceedings provided for in Article 226 of the EC Treaty) sent to them in July 2004 (see IP/04/948), nor have they brought the Italian legislation on the above tax into line with Community law.
Articles 23, 25, 26 and 133 of the EC Treaty and Articles 4 and 9 of the Cooperation Agreement between the European Economic Community and Algeria enshrine the principles of free movement of goods within the EU, the customs union between the Member States and the common commercial policy vis-à-vis third countries. By virtue of these provisions, Member States are not allowed to introduce unilaterally new charges or measures having equivalent effect on goods imported directly from third countries.
Article 6 of Sicilian Regional Law No 2 of 26 March 2002 introduced an environmental tax which is essentially levied on natural gas transported from Algeria to Italy, or to other Member States via Italy, in a gas pipeline owned by a private company. Only gas in pipelines using what the Italian Ministerial Decree of 24 November defines as "type 1 pipes" is subject to the tax.
The Commission considers that the introduction of the environmental tax at issue infringes the Common Customs Tariff because it runs counter to the principle of a single external tariff, irrespective of the point of entry of the goods into the Community, the basic principles governing the common commercial policy and the EC's international obligations under the Cooperation Agreement with Algeria.
The latest information on infringement procedures concerning all Member States can be found at: