In the Official Journal of the European Union of May 8, 2023 the action as lodged on March 15, 2023 by VF against the Council of the European Union, regarding Article 17 (International shipping income exclusion) of the EU Directive ensuring a global minimum level of taxation for multinational enterprise groups and large-scale domestic groups in the Union, was published.
Form of order sought
The applicant claims that the Court should:
— annul the Council Directive (EU) 2022/2523 of 14 December 2022 on ensuring a global minimum level of taxation for multinational enterprise groups and large-scale domestic groups in the Union (1), in so far as
— Article 17 excludes from its scope income from a shipping activity covered by Member States’ tonnage tax regime authorized under State aid rules, other than ‘international shipping income’ and ‘qualified ancillary international shipping income’;
— Article 17 applies only if ‘the constituent entity demonstrates that the strategic or commercial management of all ships concerned is effectively carried on from within the jurisdiction where the constituent entity is located’;
— the Directive does not lay down transitional measures for taxpayers that made substantial investments relying on a national tonnage tax regime;
— order the Council of the European Union to pay the costs of this procedure.
Pleas in law and main arguments
In support of the action, the applicant relies on five pleas in law.
1. First plea in law, alleging that the Directive infringes the general principle of equal treatment of comparable enterprises.
2. Second plea in law, alleging that the Directive infringes the general principle of proportionality because its effects exceed what is necessary to achieve its purpose.
3. Third plea in law, alleging that the application of the Directive rules to purely domestic situations infringes the principle of proportionality.
4. Fourth plea in law, alleging the infringement of the principle of protection of legitimate expectations and legal certainty.
5. Fifth plea alleging an infringement of Articles 115 and 107 TFEU.
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