Retailers Commend EU Commission Decision On Polish Tax
EuroCommerce, the EU trade group representing retailers, has commended a ruling by the European Commission that concluded that a Polish tax on the retail sector, if enacted, would be in breach of EU state-aid rules.
Under the proposed tax, companies operating in the retail sector in Poland would pay a monthly tax based on their turnover from sales, giving companies with low turnovers an advantage over their competitors.
Poland's parliament approved the law, introducing the tax in July 2016, however, the Commission opened an in-depth investigation in September, and the tax was never collected.
“The Commission’s conclusion that the Polish retail tax is unlawful state aid gives a very welcome and clear signal to member states on what is considered discriminatory or not,” said Christian Verschueren, director general of EuroCommerce. “To ensure fair competition in the internal market, taxes and fees should be non-discriminatory, proportionate and justified.”
EuroCommerce had previously reported that the tax was incompatible with EU state-aid rules and discriminatory against non-Polish retailers.
“The Polish tax was yet another example of a worrying trend among too many member states towards a protectionist agenda. Particularly, but by no means exclusively, in Central and Eastern Europe, we see measures being proposed that undermine the single market,” added Verschueren.
“Protectionism is not just a political act – it is a direct attack on consumers’ ability to choose what they want to buy, and almost inevitably leads to higher prices. Retailers and wholesalers live by offering that choice and promoting competitive prices,” he said.
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Sarah Harford. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.