The EU General Court rules that the Spanish tax system applicable to certain finance lease agreements entered into by shipyards constitutes an aid scheme and that the unlawful State aid granted under that system must be recovered from the beneficiaries (Spanish Tax Lease System)

The Spanish tax system applicable to certain finance lease agreements entered into by shipyards constitutes an aid scheme* The unlawful State aid granted under that system must be recovered from the beneficiaries In 2006, the European Commission received a number of complaints concerning the application of ‘the Spanish Tax Lease System’ (‘the STL system’) to certain finance lease agreements in so far as it allowed shipping companies to benefit from a 20-30% price reduction when purchasing ships constructed by Spanish shipyards. According to the Commission, the objective of the STL system was to grant tax advantages to economic interest groupings ('EIGs') and the investors participating in them, which then passed on part of those benefits to the shipping companies that bought a new ship.

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General Court of the European Union, The EU General Court rules that the Spanish tax system applicable to certain finance lease agreements entered into by shipyards constitutes an aid scheme and that the unlawful State aid granted under that system must be recovered from the beneficiaries (Spanish Tax Lease System), 23 September 2020, e-Competitions September 2020, Art. N° 96983

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