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DIRECTORATE-GENERAL TMATIONANDCUSTOMS UNION Indirect Taxation Taxadministration and VAT and other turnover taxes

Brussels /-.2u4/ , 3.

CLY/mvetaxud.c.(20I I )l 136525 1

Mr Theodoros Pitikaris Karousades 49081Cortu GREECE


Information on competition problems affecting consumers

DearSir, I refer to your message dated24 August 2011to COMP A6 MAIL, in which you inform the Commissionof competition problems affecting consumers becauseof the recent changes the VAT treatmentof restaurants Greece. this respect, in you would like in In Greece apply a reduced to VAT rate of 13%to both full boardhotel accommodation and restaurants. European VAT legislation based theVAT Directiver, provisions which obliges is on the of Member Statesto apply a standard rate of at least 15% and providesfor the optional applicationof one or two reducedrates,set no lower than 5%o, an exhaustive of to list supplies(the Annex III of the VAT Directive) includingfoodohotels,restaurant services andcatering. manimumlevel is imposed the VAT rates. No for The applicationof reduced VAT ratesis thus only an option.Within this basicstructure, it is for eachMemberState,in line with its budgetary, socialand otherpolicy objectives, to fix the number and the level of its VAT rates and to decidewhetheror not to apply reduced VAT ratesto the categories supplies goodsand services, of of listed in Annex III of the VAT Directive. However,in exercising that power,the MemberStates mustrespect principleof fiscal the neutrality.That principleprecludes particulartreatingsimilar goodsandservices, in which arethus in competitionwith eachother,differentlyfor VAT purposes, that thosegoods so or supplies mustbe subjected a uniform rate. to

CouncilDirective2006lll2tEc of 28 November p. 2006- OJ L 347,11.12.2006, 1.

Commission europ6enne, BruxellesEuropese 1049 / Commissie, Brussel-Belgium Tel.:+32229911 11. 1049

has,the VAT rate currentlyappliedto Accordingto the informationthat the Commission 2011 as 20LLsrldo of 1 September is in hotel accornmodation Greece 6.5%asof 1 January rate of of rate (instead the reduced are services subjectto the23Yo cateringand restaurant of in the tar<ation tourist packages apply pro-quotas 13%pieviously applied).Pre-defined ,o1npririrrg of urcommodationand catering services-The Commissionwill take the to contacts gatherfurther informationon the factsyou mention. necessary Yours faithfully,

DonatoRAPONI -Heasofunit