Germany and the European Union: preliminary ruling requested from CJEU regarding the notions of “manufacturer” and “vehicles of the same type” under the Energy Tax Directive

June 20, 2013

On 26 March 2013, reference was made to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) by the Finanzgerichthof of Düsseldorf for a preliminary ruling in the case Holger Forstmann Transporte GmbH & Co. KG vs. Hauptzollamt Münster (C-152/13).

The referring court requested the CJEU to answer the following questions:

  • Is the term ‘manufacturer’ within the meaning of the first indent of Article 24(2) of Council Directive 2003/96/EC to be interpreted as also including coachbuilders or dealers, when they have fitted the fuel tank as part of a process of producing the vehicle, and the production process was, for technical and/or economic reasons, carried out through division of labor by various independent businesses?
  • If the first question should be answered in the affirmative: what interpretation is to be given, in such cases, to the factual criterion, in the first indent of Article 24(2) of Council Directive 2003/96/EC whereby the vehicles in question must be ‘of the same type’?


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