March 4, 2021

TSJC annuls the decree that regulates the Catalan tax on sugary drinks

The Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJC) has declared void the decree of the Catalan government that regulates the regional tax on packaged sugary drinks, created through the 2017 budgets.

The TJSC thus considers the appeal filed by various employers and associations, including the Spanish Federation of Food and Beverage Industries (FIAB), against the regulation of this tax, against which recourse can be made.

The second section of the contentious-administrative chamber of the TSJC considers that the Catalan government "has dispensed with the procedures of consultation, hearing and public information expressly required" at the time of processing this decree.

The resource had been presented, in addition to FIAB, the employer of the large distribution Anged, the association of large Spanish supermarket chains (Aces), the supermarket and supermarket distributors (Asedas), the commercial coding association Aecoc; the business association of restoration brands and the Promarca association.

These entities opposed the aforementioned decree for its "lack of justification and haste", for the omission of relevant procedures in its processing, for assessing defects of constitutionality and for violations of European law.

The TSJC sees "evident" the violation of the mandatory procedures of consultation, hearing and public information, and therefore does not believe "necessary to enter to examine the remaining grounds of the appeal."

To support its decision, the TSJC argues that the Catalan government "seeks to shield its actions in the unnecessaryness of such procedures or in the fact that the Legal Advisory Commission only appreciates a lack of motivation regarding the omission of the same."

However, the court concludes that "we are not facing an insufficient motivation, but rather that the alleged motivation clearly departs from the causes that the law itself establishes in order to be able to do without such procedures".

The General Directorate of Taxes of the Generalitat alleged at the time before the Legal Advisory Commission that it considered that this decree should not overcome all these procedures because the regulatory deployment, the tax burden and tax obligations were already contemplated in the law that created this tax ; that is, in the law accompanying the 2017 budgets.

This Catalan tax on sugary drinks, which came into force in May 2017, is managed by the Tax Agency of Catalonia and contributed 42 million euros last year.

The tax is levied on the consumption of packaged sugary drinks; that is, those that contain added caloric sweeteners, such as sugar, honey, fructose or sucrose, among others.

Thus, in practice, the tax applies to soft drinks or sodas, fruit nectar drinks and fruit juices, sports drinks, flavored waters or energy drinks, although exempt are, for example, drinkable yoghurts or milk that does not contain sweeteners.

(tagsToTranslate) TSJC (t) decree (t) tax (t) catalan (t) sweetened

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