Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Ltd v Customs and Excise: ChD 27 Jul 2005

The appellants had imported Playstation computer games. They appealed refusal of a rebate of 50 million euros paid in VAT before a reclassification of the equipment so as to make it exempt from VAT.
Held: ‘The effect of the annulment of a Community act under Articles 230 and 231 EC Treaty is to render that act void ab initio, and Sony must be placed in the situation it would have been in, had the annulled Community act not been adopted.’ the tribunal had erred in law. However, if the revocation decision was a separate decision, not dependent on the Regulation for its validity, then an annulled Regulation which produces no effects in Community law cannot be used to strike it down. The revocation decision was made before the Regulation came into force. The Regulation was not a legal basis for the separate revocation decision, as such. Sony sought to have the issue referred to the ECJ. The Chancery Division is unable to make such a reference itself since a further appeal was available. The issue also was essentially one of fact and as such not capable of reference.
Collins J
[2005] EWHC 1644 (Ch), [2003] ECR II-418
England and Wales
CitedFrance v Commission ECJ 14-Dec-1995
ECJ By including, by means of Article 1 of Regulation No 1641/94, in residues from the manufacture of starch from maize within the meaning of tariff subheading 2303 10, residues resulting from the screening of . .
CitedSony Computer Entertainment Europe v Commission ECFI 18-Mar-2005
. .
CitedHolz Geenen v Oberfinanzdirektion Munchen ECJ 28-Mar-2000
Europa Common Customs Tariff – Tariff headings – Classification in the combined nomenclature – Regulation (EC) No 1509/97 – Rectangular wood blocks used in the construction of window frames.
‘It is settled . .
CitedSony Computer Entertainment Europe v Commission ECFI 30-Sep-2003
Europa Action for annulment – Common Customs Tariff – Tariff headings – Game console – Classification in the Combined Nomenclature. . .
CitedVtech Electronics (UK) Plc v The Commissioners of Customs and Excise ChD 29-Jan-2003
. .
CitedHewlett Packard BV v Directeur General des Douanes et Droits Indirects ECJ 17-May-2001
Europa Common Customs Tariff – Combined nomenclature – Classification of a multi-function machine combining the functions of printer, photocopier, facsimile machine and computer scanner – Principal function – . .
CitedHyper Srl v Commission ECFI 11-Jul-2002
Europa Customs duties – Importation of television sets from India – Invalid certificates of origin – Application for remission of import duties – Article 13(1) of Regulation (EEC) No 1430/79 – Rights of the . .
CitedBioforce v Oberfinanzdirektion Munchen ECJ 14-Jan-1993
ECJ The Common Customs Tariff must be interpreted as meaning that an extract of hawthorn with added alcohol, entitled ‘Weissdorn-Tropfen’ (hawthorn drops), must be classified under heading 30.04 of the Combined . .
CitedIkegami Electronics (Europe) GmbH v Oberfinanzdirektion Nurnberg ECJ 17-Mar-2005
Europa Common Customs Tariff – Tariff headings – Tariff classification of a digital recording machine – Classification under the Combined Nomenclature . .
CitedWiener SI GmbH v Hauptzollamt Emmerich ECJ 20-Nov-1997
ECJ Subheading 60.04 B IV b 2 bb of the Common Customs Tariff, in the version resulting from Regulation No 3400/84 amending Regulation No 950/68 on the Common Customs Tariff, must be construed as covering under . .
CitedNeckermann Versand v Hauptzollamt Frankfurt am Main-Ost ECJ 9-Aug-1994
Europa Heading 61.08 (‘women’s or girls’ … pyjamas, …, knitted or crocheted’) of the Combined Nomenclature of the Common Customs Tariff, as amended by Regulation No 2658/87 on the tariff and statistical . .
CitedDevelop Dr Eisbein v Hautpzollamt Stuttgart-West ECJ 16-Jun-1994
ECJ Whilst the customs tariff does indeed in certain cases contain references to manufacturing processes of goods, the preference is, in the interests of legal certainty and ease of verification, to have recourse . .
CitedCabletron Systems Ltd v The Revenue Commissioners ECJ 10-May-2001
ECJ Regulations No 1638/94 and No 1165/95 concerning the classification of certain goods in the Combined Nomenclature are invalid inasmuch as they classify under heading No 8517 of the Combined Nomenclature . .
CitedELBA Elektroapparate Und Maschinenbau Walter Goettmann Kg v Hauptzollamt Berlin-Packhof ECJ 14-Jul-1981
Europa Common customs tariff – tariff headings – ‘entertainment articles; carnival articles’ . . . Within the meaning of tariff heading 97.05 – concept – flashing light circles – inclusion – ‘flashing light . .
CitedTurbon International GmbH v Oberfinanzdirektion Koblenz ECJ 7-Feb-2002
ECJ Annex I to Regulation No 2658/87 on the tariff and statistical nomenclature and on the Common Customs Tariff, as amended by Regulation No 1734/96, must be interpreted as meaning that an ink-cartridge without . .
CitedVauDe Sport GmbH and Co KG v Oberfinanzdirektion Koblenz ECJ 10-May-2001
Europa The Combined Nomenclature, set out in Annex I to Regulation No 1359/95 amending Annexes I and II to Regulation No 2658/87 on the tariff and statistical nomenclature and on the Common Customs Tariff, and . .
CitedFratelli Variola Spa v Amministrazione Delle Finanze Dello Stato ECJ 10-Oct-1973
Europa The concept of ‘charge having equivalent effect’ under the agricultural regulations must be taken to have the same meaning as in articles 9 et seq . Of the treaty.
The prohibition of all customs . .
CitedTimmermans Transport and Logistics BV v Inspecteur der Belastingdienst – Douanedistrict Roosendaal and Hoogenboom Production Ltd v Inspecteur der Belastingdienst – Douanedistrict Rotterdam ECJ 22-Jan-2004
Classification of goods for customs tariff purposes – Binding tariff information – Conditions for the revocation of an information.
Customs authorities which had issued binding tariff information were ‘not entitled to revoke that information at . .
CitedCommissioners of Customs and Excise v Alzitrans SL ChD 29-Jan-2003
The Commissioners had seized a lorry which had been carrying goods on which duty had not been paid. The respondent asked them to review their decision under section 14. They failed to give their determination and under section 15, were deemed to . .
CitedMontecatini SPA v Commission ECJ 8-Jul-1999
Breach of competition laws leading to substantial financial penalties are regarded by the European Court as criminal rather than civil in nature.
Europa College of Members of the Commission – Competition . .
CitedFratelli Zerbone Snc v Amministrazione Delle Finanze Dello Stato ECJ 31-Jan-1978
ECJ The direct application of a community regulation means that its entry into force and its application in favour of or against those subject to it are independent of any measure adopting it into national law. . .
CitedCommission v Belgium ECJ 19-Mar-1991
Europa Where, in proceedings based on Article 169 of the Treaty, the Commission requests the Court to declare that a Member State has failed to fulfil its obligations under the Treaty, it is for the Commission . .
CitedRank Xerox Manufacturing v Inspecteur der Invoerrechten en Accijnzen ECJ 9-Oct-1997
ECJ The Common Customs Tariff must be interpreted as meaning that apparatuses which can both send faxes and make copies, and comprise a scanning device (scanner), a digital storage device (memory) and a printing . .
CitedFederal Republic of Germany v Council of the European Union ECJ 5-Oct-1994
Europa Bananas – Common organization of the markets – Import regime. In the procedure for the adoption of a regulation by the Council, the fact that the proposal from the Commission, amended in accordance with a . .
CitedEdwards (Inspector of Taxes) v Bairstow HL 25-Jul-1955
The House was asked whether a particular transaction was ‘an adventure in the nature of trade’.
Held: Although the House accepted that this was ‘an inference of fact’, on the primary facts as found by the Commissioners ‘the true and only . .
CitedCommissioners of Customs and Excise v General Instrument (UK) Limited (Formerly Next Level Systems (Europe) Limited) Admn 24-Mar-1999
Tariff classification was in essence a matter of factual evaluation in view of the features and properties of the products to be classified, and continued: ‘The cases show that the European Court of Justice employs a limited number of principles and . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 19 March 2021; Ref: scu.229040