On 25/10/2018, the ECJ ruled on reference C-528/17* re VAT exemption upon import.

According to the Court the EU rules must be interpreted to the effect that, in circumstances where the taxable importer and supplier benefitted from an exemption from import VAT on the basis of an authorisation issued after a prior examination by the competent customs authorities in the light of the evidence provided by that taxable person, the latter is not required to pay value added tax after the event where it is revealed, during a subsequent examination, that the substantive conditions for the exemption had not been met, except where it is established, in the light of objective evidence, that that taxable person knew, or should have known, that the supplies subsequent to the imports at issue were involved in fraud committed by the customer and that he did not take all reasonable steps in his power to avoid that fraud, which is a matter for the referring court to determine.

 

*All rulings of the ECJ should be read in the concrete context.