Fleet Cards Europe

Industry Perspective| 01 January 2022
FCE response to Value Added Tax Committee

On 26 January 2022, FCE issued its response to Working Paper 1020 from VAT Committee of the European Commission, which concerned issues arising from European Court of Justice (CJEU) Case C-235/18 Vega International in relation to fuel cards.

In its contribution, FCE clarified the purpose of fuel cards, how card issuers operate and how the contractual arrangements work among the parties involved and underlined that the current model of fuel card operation is crucial not only for traditional fuel but also for the supply of alternative fuels, as the supply chain and the contractual chain is the same

Key points:

  • FCE believes the Vega case should not serve as a reference case for a number of reasons including:
    • the fuel card business as the business of fuel card issuers differs substantially from the situation in the Vega case.
    • In case C-526/13 Fast Bunkering Klaipėda, the CJEU disregarded the intermediary and assumed a direct supply from the first to the last party in the chain.
    • The limited number of judges involved in the Vega decision implies the CJEU did not consider the case to be one of particularly complexity
  • The fuel card issuer (not the issuer’s partner/supplier) is solely responsible for the delivery of the fuel and submit VAT returns at the place where the goods have been supplied.
  • The strong position of the fuel card issuer in the chain makes it clear that the right to dispose of the fuel from its supplier is transferred to the fuel card issuer, so that it can then transfer that right to its customers.
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