European Court general advocate: Hungary fuel rules may be stricter than EUʼs

Issues

European Union law does not exclude Hungarian authorities from establishing supplementary regulations on vehicle fuel that go beyond EU norms for safety reasons, a general advocate of the European Court said yesterday. 

Juliane Kokott took the stand in an opinion on a case referred by a Hungarian court after the countryʼs National Tax and Customs Authority (NAV) discovered, during a check, several thousand litres of diesel fuel with a flash point that did not comply with national rules.

The private individual who owned the fuel was made to pay HUF 5 mln in tax and fines, even though the fuelʼs flash point was in line with the EU threshold. Kokott said the EU directive stipulating fuel flash point was intended for health and environmental protection, not for safe use.

The opinion does not bind the court, but prior experience suggests the courtʼs eventual decision will be along the lines of it.

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