December 02
2021
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Trajan Shipley
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5th October 2021
Human Rights Justice & Litigation Tax

Court of Justice to rule on whether presumption of innocence and ne bis in idem preclude suspension of tax warehouse-keeper authorisation

In Dual Prod (C-412/21), the Court of Justice will rule on a preliminary ruling request by the Satu Mare District Court (Tribunalul Satu Mare) on whether the presumption of innocence and the ne bis in idem principles under Articles 48(1) and 50 of the Charter, read in conjunction with Article 16(1) of Excise Duty Directive 2008/118, preclude the administrative suspension of an authorisation as a tax warehouse-keeper. The request was published yesterday in the Official Journal. 

Under Article 16(1) of the Directive, the opening and operation of such tax warehouses shall be subject to an administrative authorisation, which in turn may establish certain conditions for the purposes of preventing any possible evasion or abuse. In the case at issue, the administrative suspension was issued on the basis of mere presumptions which are the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation. 

The criminal proceedings concerned two offences, for which the applicant complied with an initial 8-month suspension on the basis of presumptions based on the evidence of the criminal investigations, and then, once formally charged, with an identical suspension on the basis of the same facts.

Following a judicial appeal, the referring court thus inquires whether such administrative suspensions pursuant to Article 16(1), made on the basis of presumptions and in absence of a final criminal conviction are compatible with the presumption of innocence and the ne bis in idem principles under the Charter.

 Read the officially published request here.

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