Fleet News

Belgian drivers win registration battle

THE European Court of Justice has found in favour of two Belgian drivers working in Luxembourg who challenged a Belgian government decision over vehicle registration.

Criminal proceedings had been brought against the two men for infringing Belgian laws requiring registration of company cars made available to them by Luxembourg-based businesses.

In both cases, the men were able to prove they held legal possession of the vehicles. But one man was charged with having used a vehicle registered abroad in the name of a foreign owner to which he was linked by a contract of employment, without carrying a VAT certificate in the vehicle.

The other, although allowed by the company to use the vehicle for private purposes, did not possess the relevant VAT certificate.

The European Court of Justice (First Chamber) said it was ‘contrary to Article 43 EC for the domestic legislation of one member state to require a self-employed worker residing in that member state to register there a company vehicle made available to him by the company for which he works… when it is not intended the vehicle should be used essentially in the first member state on a permanent basis and it is not so used’.

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