Lubrizol brought the case before the French Supreme Court, claiming that the Social solidarity contribution (C3S) tax computed on the transfers of stocks from France to another Member State should be regarded as a tax with equivalent effect to customs duties (within the meaning of Article 30 of Treaty of the functioning of the European Union, here after TFEU), since such transfers of stocks not generating turnover were included in the taxable basis only if they were transferred to another Member State.
The French Supreme Court therefore decided to request for a preliminary ruling to the EUCJ. The question was the following: is it contrary to Articles 28 and 30 of the TFEU to take into account the value of the goods transferred from France to another Member State by or on behalf of an entity subject to the C3S for determining the overall turnover that constitutes the taxable basis of this contribution?
After a detailed analysis of the contribution, Advocate General, in his Opinion dated January 31st, 2018, concludes that the regime is contrary to these above mentioned articles.
Therefore, companies should perform a mapping of their flows and determine if claims should be introduced within the statute of limitations.