The Court of Justice of the EU rules on motor vehicles imports

By its judgement of 17 December 2015 in Case C-402/14, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) declared incompatible with EU law the practice by the Greek State by which the registration tax collected upon import of motor vehicles originating from other Member States is not refunded when the vehicles concerned were never registered in that Member State and were re-exported to another Member State, where they were finally sold and put into circulation for the first time after payment of the registration tax. The CJEU found that the tax concerned, as applied by the Greek state, may not be qualified as internal taxation within the meaning of Article 110 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), but instead as a charge having equivalent effect to a customs duty, which is prohibited by Article 30 TFEU, in so far as it is in reality collected solely by virtue of the crossing of a frontier of a Member State, and is not refunded if the motor vehicles imported are never registered in that Member State.