Case law
26 October 2020

The Court of Justice of the European Union ruled in Slovak VAT case

The Court of Justice of the EU issued order in case C‑621/19 Finančné riaditeľstvo Slovenskej republiky v Weindel Logistik Service SR spol. s r.o. which deals with the possibility to claim import VAT deduction by the importer who does not become the owner of imported goods.

Zuzana Šidlová

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The Company Weindel Logistik Service SR spol. s r.o. (hereinafter „WLS“) provides repacking services. During 2008 imported to Slovakia goods for repacking with the origin in Switzerland, Hong Kong and China and paid import VAT that was claimed as input VAT deduction. Repacking service was charged to Swiss customer who remained the owner of these goods during the whole time. After repacking the goods were supplied in another EU Member States or exported to third countries.

The Tax Authorities challenged input VAT deduction claimed by WLS arguing that WLS:

  • was not the owner of the imported goods,
  • did not incur any costs that could be reflected in the price of output taxable supplies,
  • did not use imported goods for its economic activity as taxable person.

WLS objected that without importation of the goods it could not provide services and should the input VAT deduction be possible only if the price of the goods was booked as a cost, this condition could not be fulfilled.

The Court of Justice of the EU confirmed the opinion of the Tax Authorities and ruled that the right for input VAT deduction would not be granted to the importer if:

  • he does not dispose of the goods as their owner and
  • the importation costs have not incurred on the input side or are not included in the price of the outputs or in the price of the goods and services supplied by the taxable person within his economic activity.

Should you be interested in VAT advisory services with respect to any transactions performed, please contact us.

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