In a letter to the Dutch Parliament dated 30 January 2009, State Secretary for Finance Jan Kees de Jager has indicated that the current method for the invoicing of transport and supply costs in the energy sector is not in accordance with EU legislation.

Background

Following the liberalisation of the energy market, two separate types of companies are involved in the supply of energy to small consumers. The actual supply of energy is made by an energy supplier, while the connection to the grid and the transport of energy are provided by a grid manager.

At the time of the liberalisation of the energy market, it was decided that a "suppliers' model" (leveranciersmodel) be implemented. Under this model, the consumer authorizes the supplier on behalf of him to enter into a transport agreement with the grid manager. The supplier then bills the consumer for the supply of energy as well as the connection and transport costs by means of a single integrated invoice.

In connection with the above, on 25 October 2006 a motion was proposed in Parliament requesting the government to allow energy suppliers to make VAT (btw) payments to the tax authorities for both the supply of energy and the transport costs. In addition, the government was requested to submit this procedure to the European Commission for the latter's approval.

European Commission/VAT committee

The European Commission stated that the issue should be submitted to the Commission's VAT committee for consultations, but that, in its opinion, the proposed method for the invoicing and settlement of VAT was not in accordance with the EU VAT Directive. The VAT Committee subsequently confirmed the Commission's opinion.

Conclusion

In his letter of 30 January, the State Secretary for Finance stated that, in view of the above, the current method of invoicing should come to an end. Accordingly, and in consultation with the relevant energy companies, the tax authorities will soon determine an end date in this regard.