Poland taken to EU Court for not removing coal and gas tax exemptions

The Commission says Polish legislation favours highly polluting activities and does now require energy intensive businesses to improve their efficiency

The European Commission has referred Poland to the Court of Justice for allowing energy intensive businesses to be exempt from coal and gas tax.

Under Polish legislation and contrary to EU law, certain energy products such as coal and gas, used by energy intensive companies that fall under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) are exempt from excise duty.

The Commission said: “Common EU energy tax rules require businesses that benefit from such exemptions, if they have introduced environmental or energy efficiency improvements, to go beyond what is required by binding EU instruments such as the EU ETS.

“However, the Polish legislation does not require such a level of energy efficiency. These rules favour highly polluting activities and as such run against EU climate objectives and generate major distortions of competition within the EU.”

The decision to refer Poland to Court follows the country’s failure to bring its legislation in line with EU law following the Commission’s “reasoned opinion” which was sent on 25th July 2019.

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