On 8 and 9 of December, the Federation of German Industries (BDI) hosted the 7th German Energy Tax Day (Energiesteuertag) together with BLOMSTEIN and others. The conference took place in Berlin and offered all relevant stakeholders the opportunity to discuss current topics around energy and electricity taxes.

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The US presidential election could – judging from the statements in President-elect Trump’s election campaign – have far-reaching effects also for European companies. According to the new President’s election campaign, his political priorities include, on the one hand, the dismantling of the Joint Comprehensive Deal of Action (JCPOA) with Iran which he has called a “disaster” and, on the other hand, a substantial increase of tariffs on imports in order to promote the US economy.

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Last week the business press reported on difficulties in the planned purchase of German companies by Chinese investors. Pursuant to the reports, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy revoked the initially granted certificate of non-objection for the acquisition of Aixtron. Moreover, the Ministry apparently also denied to issue a certificate of non-objection for the acquisition of Osram’s lamp division Ledvance.

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The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has recently emphasised the importance of the general principles of EU law – in particular the principle of proportionality – for the interpretation of the excise duty directives. The fact-based and flexible interpretation is a welcome development and should lead to a limitation of the overly formal interpretation of excise duty legislation in many EU member states, based on a proper assessment of individual cases.

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The New German Cultural Property Protection Act will enter into force by 1 August 2016. Click here to read an article on the new law by Anna Blume Huttenlauch, which was published on 8 July 2016 in Süddeutsche Zeitung.

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Aside from the political, social, cultural and economic dimensions that have been debated extensively over the past months, the vote of the British people to leave the EU will have legal implications that cannot be fully grasped yet in their full scope. Nonetheless, companies on both sides of the channel must already prepare today.

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BLOMSTEIN has advised Siemens AG in its litigation against the main customs office Munich (HZA) in front of the Federal Supreme Tax Court.

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On 7 April 2016, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) confirmed the position of our client ADM in a legal dispute with the German customs authorities (case C-294/14). ADM had brought action against an import duty assessment of the Regional Customs Office of Hamburg before the Finance Court of Hamburg, which submitted the case to the CJEU for a preliminary ruling. The CJEU now confirmed ADM’s legal interpretation of EU customs laws.

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