Faaborg-Gelting Linien v Finanzamt Flensburg: ECJ 2 May 1996

A non-takeaway restaurant is a supply of services, and a ferry supply was made from its place of business. The supply of prepared food and drink at a restaurant resulted from a whole series of services (including the preparation and service of the meal); and that since restaurant transactions were characterised by a cluster of features and acts of which the provision of food was only one component and in which services largely predominate, they were to be characterised as supplies of services. This must be so though the quality of the food and the cost (eg of champagne at the meal) is very high indeed. The court distinguished the situation where the transaction relates to ‘take-away’ food: such a transaction is a supply of goods. Where the transaction consists of a composite supply of services and goods (or of different categories of services) which from an economic point of view cannot be severed, the principal supply must be identified and the character of the principal supply determines the character of the component parts of the transaction: ‘In order to determine whether such transactions constitute supplies of goods or supplies of services, regard must be had to all the circumstances in which the transaction in question takes place in order to identify its characteristic features.’ and ‘Consequently, restaurant transactions are characterised by a cluster of features and acts, of which the provision of food is only one component and in which services largely predominate. They must therefore be regarded as supplies of services within the meaning of art 6(1) of the Sixth Directive. The situation is different, however, where the transaction relates to ‘takeaway’ food and is not coupled with services designed to enhance consumption on the spot in an appropriate setting.’

Times 09-May-1996, C-231/94, [1996] STC 774, [1996] ECR I-2395, [1996] EUECJ C-231/94, [1996] All ER (EC) 656, [1996] CEC 587, [1996] 3 CMLR 535
Council Directive 77/388/EEC May 17 1977
Cited by:
CitedCollege of Estate Management v Commissioners of Customs and Excise ChD 13-Nov-2003
The college appealed a finding that the supply of course manuals to its students was part of its exempt rather than zero-rated supply.
Held: ‘Once it is decided that there is a single supply from an economic view which should not be . .
CitedCollege of Estate Management v Commissioners of Customs and Excise CA 11-Aug-2004
When offering courses to distance learning students, the College offered materials for the courses. As part of the course this supply would be exempt, as books, the supply would be zero-rated, but the taxpayer would be able to reclaim its VAT . .
CitedCard Protection Plan Ltd v Commissioners of Customs and Excise ECJ 25-Feb-1999
A company procuring insurance purchases for credit card protection was as exempt from VAT as was the insurer. A provision which restricted the ability to claim such exemption to those registered as insurers under national was invalid under European . .
CitedBeynon and Partners v Customs and Excise HL 25-Nov-2004
The House asked whether the personal administration of a drug such as a vaccine by an NHS doctor to a patient is a taxable supply for the purposes of value added tax. The provision of medical care in the exercise of the medical and paramedical . .
CitedCollege of Estate Management v Customs and Excise HL 20-Oct-2005
The college supplied educational services by distance learning. The commissioner sought to argue that printe daterials supplied with the course were ancillary and did not have the same exemption form VAT.
Held: The supplies did benefit from . .
CitedHM Revenue and Customs v Weight Watchers (UK) Ltd ChD 21-Jan-2008
The court was asked whether the weight-watchers program which included attendance at a course and a supply of supporting materials was one single standard-rated supply or separate supplies of zero-rated printed materials and standard-rated support . .
CitedOffice of Fair Trading v Abbey National Plc and seven Others ComC 24-Apr-2008
The Office sought a declaration that the respondent and other banks were subject to the provisions of the Regulations in their imposition of bank charges to customer accounts, and in particular as to the imposition of penalties or charges for the . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

VAT, European

Leading Case

Updated: 02 November 2021; Ref: scu.161411