ANNOUNCEMENT 05 Sep 2012In September 2012, the government of the Netherlands announced a targeted tax change.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
New scheme SA.35377
Initial scheme N270/2010
Initial scheme N396/07 previously approved by decisions N656/2001 and N589/B/98.
On 5 September 2012, the Netherlands notified the EC on the reduction of energy taxes in the horticulture sector. The new measure is in line with the previous scheme (N270/2010), but is extended with two main provisions:
a) adjustments in the tax reductions on natural gas,
b) suspension of tax reductions for the usage of oil & petroleum.
The scheme entered into force on 1 January 2013 and will last for 2 years. The overall value of state aid involved is EUR 184 million (par. 12, letter from the EC to the Netherlands, Brussels 19 December 2012).
The Dutch firms are exposed to an intra-European market of 24 million tons of horticultural products per year and are considered one of the main producers of vegetables in the EU.
The EC argues that 'the reduction in the energy tax is considered state aid and favors certain enterprises and certain products in the sector of horticulture production, especially vegetables in green houses and it is likely to affect trade between countries, considering the position of the Netherlands on the respective market.' (par. 15, translation from the French original text, letter from the EC to the Netherlands, Brussels 19 December 2012).
A state measure in the GTA database is assessed solely in terms of the extent to which its implementation affects the extent of discrimination against foreign commercial interests. On this metric, the state aid proposed here is discriminatory.