In this article the question is reviewed whether two by the EU Commission proposed financial instruments to stimulate ‘green’ ship scrapping, (i) a Ship Recycling Fund (SRF) and (ii) a Ship Recycling License (SRL), might be qualified as a ‘tax’ under Article 192(2) TFEU. Qualification as such a “tax” would mean that the EU Commission can only introduce such a financial instrument with unanimity voting. The authors first explore the concept of ‘tax’ in the TFEU in general and in Article 192(2) TFEU in particular. Based on this analysis, the authors conclude that levies paid to an SRF might be qualified as an ‘earmarked tax’ falling within the definition of a ‘fiscal provision’ in the meaning of Article 192(2) TFEU, which means that levies to such a fund can only be introduced by unanimity voting. The SRL fee consists of two elements: (i) a fee to cover administrative expenses and (ii) a contribution to a savings account. The fee to cover administrative expenses is qualified by the authors as a retribution that should not be qualified as a fiscal provision in the meaning of Article 192(2) TFEU. The contribution to a blocked savings account can neither be qualified as a tax nor as a retribution. Therefore, the SRL fee can be introduced without unanimity voting by the EU Council.

Ship Recycling Fund, Ship Recycling License, green ship scrapping, EU concept of tax, earmarked tax
dx.doi.org/10.5553/ELR.000155, hdl.handle.net/1765/134869
Erasmus Law Review
Erasmus Law Review
Erasmus School of Law

Kogels, H.A, & Stevens, A.J.A. (2020). Ship Recycling Financial Instruments: A Tax or Not a Tax?. Erasmus Law Review, 13(2), 64–67. doi:10.5553/ELR.000155