Il Corriere di Trieste

Trieste summons the Italian Government before Court for applying the VAT (IVA)

Trieste summons the Italian Government before Court for applying the VAT (IVA)
Four pending legal actions, for several billion Euro

Trieste, 4 December 2018. – Like the tax exclaves of Campione and of Livigno, on the border with Switzerland, Trieste and its international Free Port should be exempted from the Italian Value Added Tax – VAT (Imposta sul Valore Aggiunto – IVA), although for different reasons. Just like San Marino and Vatican City, Trieste is legally a foreign Country, even if its administration is sub-entrusted to the Italian Government under a special trusteeship mandate. So is under international law, E.U. legislation and the Italian Republic’s own domestic legal system.

This is stated and argued in the 24 pages of the Writ of Summon (LINK) in legal action No. 4277/2018, pending before the Court of Trieste, initiated by the International Provisional Representative of the Free Territory of Trieste – I.P.R. F.T.T. and notified to the Italian Government, the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance, the Tax Revenue Office, and the Customs and the Customs and Monopolies Agency on November 21st.

The legal action is a civil lawsuit that requests the Italian judge serving in Trieste to determinate and declare the legal force of the instruments of Italian and of European law that recognize the legal status of Trieste and of its international Free Port as established by international law, and do not allow to apply to them the same VAT applied on the supply of goods and services, as well as on imports that take place «within the territory of the Italian State» (where the VAT has increased to 22%).

The main legal framework of the legal action consists of the Treaty of Peace with Italy of 1947, ratified and enforced in the Italian legal order with a rank superior to that of domestic law under Legislative Decree of the Provisional Head of State No. 1430/1947 ratified under Law No. 3054/1952, the Constitution of the Italian Republic that came into force on January 1st, 1948 within the national borders established by that Treaty, and the 1954 Memorandum of Understanding signed at London and implemented in the Italian legal order under the Decree of the President of the Italian Republic on October 27th, 1954 and with art. 70 of Italian Constitutional Law No. 1/1963.

According to the writ of summon, the temporary civil administration of the present-day Free Territory of Trieste is sub-entrusted to the Italian Government by the Governments of the United States and of the United Kingdom as primary administering Governments on behalf of the U.N. Security Council. The I.P.R. F.T.T. is established, since 2015, as agency for international representation that acts upon delegation to defend the rights and legitimate interests of citizens and of public or private bodies of the Free Territory and of other States (LINK).

On the same legal bases, and with the support of nearly 600 citizens and enterprises, the I.P.R. F.T.T. has already opened, before the Court of Trieste, civil lawsuit No. 1757/2017 vs. the Italian Government, for the determination of the whole system of taxation applicable to the Free Territory and to its international Free Port. The legal action is now pending before the Court of second instance, because the judge of first instance rejected the request claiming that the damage caused by the application of the Italian system of taxation would not be demonstrated (LINK).

At the same time, the I.P.R. F.T.T. has opened before the Court of Trieste civil lawsuits No. 941/18 and No. 2370/18 regarding State ownership of the international Free Port and of other public assets within the Free Territory (LINK). The four legal actions have an economic value of several billion Euro, and a relevant strategic importance for the development of international trades through Trieste, especially to and from the Countries of South-Eastern Europe that are part of the Three Seas Initiative.

F.W.

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