The European Commission has sent a statement of objection to Romania’s power market operator OPCOM [and its parent company Transelectrica] in regard to the requirement that market participants should register as VAT payers in Romania, the EC’s press release informed. The EC has started an investigation in December 2012.
The statement of objection is information in regard to one party’s position – while not prejudging the final outcome of the investigation. In case the Commission finally concludes that there is sufficient evidence of an infringement, it can issue a decision prohibiting the conduct and impose a fine of up to 10 % of a company’s annual worldwide turnover.
According to the Commission’s preliminary view, the VAT registration requirement discriminates against foreign traders and inhibits competition on the Romanian electricity market, in violation of Article 102 of the Treaty on the EU and Article 54 of the European Economic Area (EEA) agreement.
In its turn, OPCOM claims that the requirement is needed to put the market participants on a level playing field in regard to the VAT payment requirements and practices that may vary among EU countries.
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