Key facts of the case:
Reference for a preliminary ruling: Tribunal de première instance de Liège - Belgium.
VAT - Sixth Directive 77/388/EEC - Transitional provisions - Retention of the exemption for international passenger transport by air - No exemption for international passenger transport by coach - Discrimination - State aid.
Outcome of the case:
On those grounds, THE COURT (Sixth Chamber), in answer to the questions referred to it by the Tribunal de Première Instance de Liège by order of 8 February 1999, hereby rules:
In the present state of harmonisation of the laws of the Member States relating to the common system of value added tax, the Community principle of equal treatment does not preclude legislation of a Member State which on the one hand, in accordance with Article 28(3)(b) of Sixth Council Directive 77/388/EEC of 17 May 1977 on the harmonisation of the laws of the Member States relating to turnover taxes - Common system of value added tax: uniform basis of assessment, in the version of Council Directive 96/95/EC of 20 December 1996 amending, with regard to the level of the standard rate of value added tax, Directive 77/388, continues to exempt international passenger transport by air, and on the other hand taxes international passenger transport by coach.
Whereas this judgement does not relate to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union it is included in the case law database because it is referred to in FRA’s Charter e-guidance. The latter is an online tool guiding judges and other legal practitioners through the relevant questions concerning the applicability of the Charter.