The Joustra Case — 23rd November 2007, ECJ C-5/05
It was widely suggested that the judgment of the ECJ in this case could have dramatic implications for wine retailing in the UK.
Mr Joustra acted on behalf of some 70 members of a group of Dutch wine-lovers, the "Cercle des Amis du Vin". Periodically he ordered wine in France for himself and the other members of the group. He arranged for a Dutch transport company to collect the wine and deliver it to his home, from where it was delivered on to the various members. Mr Joustra made no profit from these activities. Each member reimbursed Mr Joustra for the cost of his wine and his share of the transport costs. Each member received no more than the amount of wine they would have been entitled to bring back had they personally gone to France and bought it there.
The object of the exercise was to pay only French excise duty, which is very low. However, the Dutch authorities claimed that in the circumstances Mr Joustra was also liable for Dutch excise duty. He challenged that claim....
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