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ECJ Advocate General Issues Opinion on the Place of an Intra-Community Supply when Goods Undergo Final Processing in the Country of the Customer — Orbitax Tax News & Alerts

On 3 July 2014, Advocate General (AG) Kokott of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) gave her opinion in the case of Société Fonderie 2A v. Ministre de l'Économie et des Finances (Case C-446/13). An ECJ opinion was requested by the French Supreme Administrative Court in 2013 on how the provisions of the Sixth Directive apply when defining the place of an intra-community supply when goods undergo final processing in the country of the recipient prior to receiving the goods.

The case involved metal parts sold by an Italian vendor to a French customer, with the parts painted in France on the way to the customer. The core question was: Is the place of supply the country of the vendor (Italy), or is it the country of the business performing the final processing (France)?

The opinion issued by the AG is that Article 8(1)(a), first sentence, of the Sixth VAT Directive (1977) must be interpreted as meaning that transport or dispatch to the customer can only start when the good is in the condition stipulated in the contract. Therefore, the place of supply in such a situation is the country where the business performing the final processing is located (France).