Regulatory Case Law, December 2015: EU Member States free to impose charges on mobile network building blocks

Latest EU regulatory case law1

In a request for preliminary ruling, Court of Justice of the EU ruled that EU Member States are free to impose taxes and similar charges on mobile network transmission masts and other network elements, as long as such charges do not have the characteristics of a fee which is imposed on undertakings providing electronic communications networks and services in return for the right to install facilities.

The judgement of the Court concerned the dispute between Proximus, a Belgian mobile operator, and the Province of Namur, whose provincial council adopted a tax regulation imposing an annual charge on mobile telephony network transmission and reception pylons and units in respect of the 1998 tax year. Said tax regulation stated that that charge was applicable to any mobile telephony network transmission and reception pylons and units, installed in the Province of Namur.

The Court had to address the thin line between special taxes charged on certain telecoms activities and facilities, which it generally deems permitted (Vodafone Malta), and fees that can be seen as being charged in exchange for a licence or authorisation to pursue a certain telecoms business activity.

 

Bostjan Makarovic

Bostjan Makarovic

Bostjan Makarovic is Aphaia's Founder. In addition to 14 years of industry experience, he holds Queen Mary, University of London PhD in legal regulation of NGN, London School of Economics and Political Science MSc in Environmental Policy and Regulation, and is IAPP-certified international privacy professional (CIPP/E).
Bostjan Makarovic

One thought on “Regulatory Case Law, December 2015: EU Member States free to impose charges on mobile network building blocks

  • In Croatia there were also several situations where the different kind of taxes were imposed upon the various operators in regulated industries such as communications, media, energy, telecommunications, and internet. This situation was only to be resolved by the ECJ, since the EU regulations are not clear in that respect. However there should be kept in mind that wright now there is only a preliminary ruling of the ECJ. It would be interesting to follow further developments in this area.
    Best regards,

    Mirna Pavletic Zupic

    Dr. Sc. Mirna Pavletic Zupic, Attorney at Law
    Zupic & Partners, Law Firm
    Zagreb, Ulica grada Vukovara 269 f
    Email. mzupic@zupic.hr
    http://www.zupicipartneri.hr

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