The LOA on HVP

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The Agriculture Act and Commercial Code

Keywords: pure vegetable oil, crude, HVP, HVB, law, europe, Directive.

La France a-t-elle le droit d’interdire à ses agriculteurs de vendre de l’huile végétale carburant ? Le projet de loi d’orientation agricole autoriserait l’usage de l’huile végétale pure comme carburant agricole, mais uniquement sur la ferme où elle serait produite ce qui interdit toutes possibilités de commercialisation et ce qui est contraire aux règles de commerce et de liberté d’accès aux marchés de l’énergie.

The draft LOA (farm bill) will not allow the development of the use of pure vegetable oils as fuel. It provides for changing the Customs Code with the aim of allowing experimental basis until December 31 2007 pure vegetable oils (PVO) as agricultural fuel, but only in farms on which they are produced and provided that the HVP are compatible with the type of engine and the corresponding emissions requirements. If these conditions are met, the PPO benefit from an exemption from the domestic consumption tax (formerly TIPP), but they will nevertheless banned from sale or the sale of carburizing, if there is no special permission by orders of the Minister of the budget and the Minister for industry. Products used or intended for use in violation of these requirements, that is to say for a use other than agricultural activity, are subject to the domestic consumption tax, says Bill. Any violation of these provisions that the customs authorities are responsible for enforcing be fined for this purpose.

The European brake to the LOA.

It is not certain that this bill is passed as is.
At European level, Directive 2003 / 30 / EC states that the HVP from oil plants "produced through pressing, extraction or comparable procedures, crude or refined but chemically unmodified, can also be used as biofuel, in case its use is compatible with the type of engine and the corresponding requirements on emissions. " It explicitly requires Member States to adopt the necessary legislation to ensure that biofuels represent a minimum share of fuels sold in their territory. She recalled the resolution of June 18 1998 which notably calls for a tax exemption for biofuels. Finally, it requires Member States to comply with the latest before December 31 2004 to this Directive.
This directive 2003 / 30 / EC has been partially transposed, but not for provisions for HVP. Indeed, the article 32 of the Finance Act 2005 for mineral oils (not vegetable). The Commission has therefore launched a pre-litigation procedure for failure to transpose that directive since the transposition deadline is exceeded.

The Germans run on PPO on our roads

Another European directive, the 2003 / 96 / EC on the taxation of energy products includes specific taxation for biofuels. It also calls for harmonization of taxation on fuels in order to avoid distortions of competition in the transport field and allows Member States to apply partial or total tax exemption on biofuels (excluding VAT) - TIPP-ICT France - have already done Belgium and Germany. Thus the French road find themselves at a disadvantage compared to their German counterparts and East that run on PVO ... and there are many on the French roads.
Directive 2003 / 96 / EC has also not been fully transposed into French law, says Sen. Dawn PHILIPPE ADNOT following folder. Arbitrations are in progress, he wrote to HVP producers, the European Commission has also launched a pre-litigation procedure against France for failure to transpose the directive.

competitive practices

Finally, regarding the prohibition against the farmers to sell the HVP, this is to see whether this bill complies with French and European trade rules. Article 420-1 of the Commercial Code prohibits anti-competitive practices if they concern or may have the effect of preventing, restricting or distorting competition on a market, especially when they tend to limit access to the market or the free exercise of competition by other companies, (...) as they tend to limit or control production, markets, investment or technical progress and finally to share markets or sources supply. This fundamental article of NCPC adds, however, that practices that result from the application of a statute or a statutory instrument for its application are not subject to this rule. This would, in this case, the HVP, falling under the LOA, if adopted.

legal absence and failure to transpose
Au niveau européen, cette disposition est cependant contraire à l’esprit de « libéralisation » de l’accès aux marchés de l’énergie, que l’on connaît déjà pour l’électricité, ce qui fait pencher la balance en faveur des agriculteurs. Dans l’attente, il faut donc s’en référer au Conseil européen du commerce pour voir si la France a le droit d’interdire à ses agriculteurs de vendre de l’huile végétale carburant. En absence de textes européens et de jurisprudence, la directive 2003/30/CE serait effective. En effet, la Cour de justice de l’Union européenne a développé une jurisprudence générale qui rend effectives certaines dispositions de certaines directives sous certaines conditions (dispositions suffisamment précises par exemple) à partir de la date fixée par la directive pour sa transposition.

Beyond the legal aspects, farmers are questioning the multiple barriers to economic and sustainable development, especially at a time when the watchword of government employment.

David Lefebvre


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