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Judgment of the Court (First Chamber) of 15 May 1991.

Gio Buton and Vinicola Europea SpA v Amministrazione delle finanze dello Stato.

Reference for a preliminary ruling: Tribunale civile e penale di Trieste - Italy.

Ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin - Countervailing charge.

Case C-201/90.

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Judgment of 15 May 1991, Buton and Vinicola Europea / Amministrazione delle finanze dello Stato (C-201/90, ECR 1991 p. I-2453, Summ.pub.) ECLI:EU:C:1991:210

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Gio Buton and Vinicola Europea SpA v Amministrazione delle finanze dello Stato.

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Keywords

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1. Agriculture - Provisions of the Treaty - Article 46 - Whether applicable after the transitional period - Products not covered by a common organization - Ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin - Countervailing charge - Whether lawful

(EEC Treaty, Art. 46; Commission Regulations No 2541/84 and No 644/85)

2. Agriculture - Countervailing charge imposed on products not covered by a common organization - Ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin produced in France - Processing within a free zone - Finished product intended for another Member State - Levying of the charge

(Commission Regulation No 2541/84, Art. 2, as amended by Regulation No 644/85)

Summary

1. As the Court has already ruled (see judgment in Case 337/82 St. Nikolaus Brennerei v Hauptzollamt Krefeld [1984] ECR 1051), Article 46 of the Treaty may be applied after the expiry of the transitional period to products which have not yet been made subject to a common organization of the market. Since ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin is not covered by a common organization of the market, that provision is applicable to it and the Commission was accordingly entitled to impose a countervailing charge on quantities of that product produced in France and imported into other Member States.

2. The countervailing charge provided for under Regulation No 2541/84 fixing a countervailing charge on imports into other Member States of ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin produced in France must be levied on ethyl alcohol which is processed in a free zone and becomes part of a finished product which is to be sent to another Member State and which has not been placed under any special customs procedure other than customs supervision.

Parties

In Case C-201/90,

REFERENCE to the Court under Article 177 of the EEC Treaty by the Tribunale Civile e Penale (Civil and Criminal Court), Trieste, First Civil Chamber, for a preliminary ruling in the proceedings pending before that court between

Gio Buton SpA and Vinicola Europea SpA

and

Amministrazione delle Finanze dello Stato (State Finance Administration) and Ricevitore Capo della Dogana di Trieste (Chief Customs Collection Officer, Trieste),

on the validity and interpretation of Commission Regulation (EEC) No 2541/84 of 4 September 1984 fixing a countervailing charge on imports into other Member States of ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin produced in France (OJ L 238, p. 16), and Commission Regulation (EEC) No 644/85 of 12 March 1985 amending Regulation No 2541/84 (OJ L 73, p. 15),

THE COURT (First Chamber),

composed of: G.C. Rodríguez Iglesías, President of the Chamber, Sir Gordon Slynn and R Joliet, Judges,

(The grounds of the judgment are not reproduced.)

in answer to the questions referred to it by the Tribunale Civile e Penale, Trieste, First Civil Chamber, by order of 9 May 1990, hereby rules:

Operative part

1. Consideration of the first question has disclosed no factor of such a kind as to affect the validity of Commission Regulation (EEC) No 2541/84 of 4 September 1984 fixing a countervailing charge on imports into other Member States of ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin produced in France and Commission Regulation (EEC) No 644/85 of 12 March 1985 amending Regulation (EEC) No 2541/84.

2. The countervailing charge provided for in Regulation (EEC) No 2541/84 must be levied on ethyl alcohol which is processed within a free zone and becomes part of a finished product which is to be sent to another Member State, and which has not been placed under any special customs procedure other than customs supervision.

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