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Judgment of the Court (Sixth Chamber) of 27 June 1990.

Maizena GmbH v Hauptzollamt Krefeld.

Reference for a preliminary ruling: Bundesfinanzhof - Germany.

Agriculture - Production refunds - Art. 5a of Regulation (EEC) nº 2742/75 - Isoglucose used in the production of sorbitol.

Case C-18/89.

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Judgment of 27 June 1990, Maizena / Hauptzollamt Krefeld (C-18/89, ECR 1990 p. I-2587, Summ.pub.) ECLI:EU:C:1990:264

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Maizena GmbH v Hauptzollamt Krefeld.

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Keywords

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Agriculture - Common organization of the markets - Cereals - Production refunds - Exclusion of products intended for the manufacture of isoglucose - Scope and limits - Discrimination between producers or consumers - Distinction between the foodstuffs sector and the chemicals sector - Grant in the case of isoglucose used for the manufacture of sorbitol

( EEC Treaty, Art . 40(3 ), second subparagraph; Council Regulation No 2742/75, as amended by Regulation No 1665/77, Art . 5a )

Summary

As the Court has already held ( see the judgments of 25 October 1978 in Case 125/77 Koninklijke Scholten-Honig and Another v Hoofdproduktschap voor Akkerbouwprodukten (( 1978 )) ECR 1991 and Joined Cases 103 and 145/77 Royal Scholten-Honig ( Holdings ) Limited and Another v Intervention Board for Agricultural Produce (( 1978 )) ECR 2037 ), there must be no discrimination against producers of sugar in the foodstuffs sector in comparison with producers of isoglucose, with whom they are in competition, by providing the latter with benefits the equivalent of which the former do not enjoy . Article 5a(1 ) of Regulation No 2742/75 on production refunds in the cereals and rice sectors, which provides that no production refunds are to be granted for products destined for the manufacture of isoglucose, must be interpreted in the light of that objective .

In the chemicals sector, however, the situation is different . In the production of sorbitol, isoglucose is in competition either with sugar in the form of invert sugar or with glucose, both of which, when used for that purpose, qualify for production refunds, with the result that sorbitol producers who use isoglucose would suffer discrimination contrary to the second subparagraph of Article 40(3 ) of the Treaty if no refund could be granted for the intermediate product which they use . It follows that Article 5a of Regulation No 2742/75, properly construed, does not prohibit production refunds in respect of products intended for the manufacture of isoglucose when that isoglucose is to be used as an intermediate product, not intended for marketing, in the manufacture of sorbitol .

Parties

In Case C-18/89

REFERENCE to the Court under Article 177 of the EEC Treaty by the Bundesfinanzhof ( Federal Finance Court ), for a preliminary ruling in the proceedings pending before that court between

Maizena GmbH

and

Hauptzollamt ( Principal Customs Office ) Krefeld,

on the interpretation and, in the alternative, the validity of Article 5a of Regulation ( EEC ) No 2742/75 of the Council of 29 October 1975 on production refunds in the cereals and rice sectors ( Official Journal 1975, L 281, p . 57 ), as amended by Council Regulation ( EEC ) No 1665/77 of 20 July 1977 amending Regulation ( EEC ) No 2742/75 ( Official Journal 1977, L 186, p . 15 ),

THE COURT ( Sixth Chamber )

composed of : C . N . Kakouris, President of Chamber, F . A . Schockweiler, G . F . Mancini, T . F . O' Higgins and M . Diez de Velasco, Judges,

( the grounds of the judgment are not reproduced )

in answer to the questions referred to it by the Bundesfinanzhof, by order of 14 December 1988, hereby rules :

Operative part

Article 5a(1 ) of Regulation ( EEC ) No 2742/75 of the Council of 29 October 1975 on production refunds in the cereals and rice sectors, as amended by Council Regulation ( EEC ) No 1665/77 of 20 July 1977 amending Regulation ( EEC ) No 2742/75, properly construed, does not prohibit production refunds in respect of products intended for the manufacture of isoglucose when that isoglucose is to be used as an intermediate product, not intended for marketing, in the manufacture of sorbitol .

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