Update: Draft of a circular letter on fuel cards

In response to the ECJ ruling in the "Vega International" case, the German Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF) prepared a draft circular letter on the subject of fuel cards and submitted it to industry associations for comment. The new regulations were to take effect as early as 1 January 2022. However, this circular letter will not be published for the time being.

The current practice of treating fuel card transactions as chain supplies of fuel has been declared an exceptional case in the draft circular letter. You can read our detailed explanation here. The BMF had been prompted to do so by the ECJ case law in the "Vega International" case (C-235/18, May 15, 2019). The BMF has now extended the deadline, allowing industry associations to submit comments until December 2, 2021. In addition, the Ministry would like to await the deliberations of the EU VAT Committee, which will soon deal with the issue. The requirements outlined in the circular letter will therefore not come into force on January 1, 2022.

It can be assumed that this development is also due to the considerable objections of the industry representatives, as the planned new regulations would present them with almost insurmountable hurdles. The fact that Germany is not planning to go it alone in this respect but is apparently aiming for a coordinated EU-wide approach to the "Vega" case law, is very welcome.

(Dated: 26 November 2021)