Legal challenge to EU directive on global minimum tax dismissed

The General Court of the European Union has dismissed a legal challenge to EU Directive 2022/2523 of 14 December 2022, on ensuring a global minimum taxation for multinational enterprise (MNE) groups.

The legal challenge was preferred by Koninklijke Boskalis NV, established in Netherlands, and Boskalis Offshore Transport Services NV, established in Belgium. The applicants requested the Court to partially annul the Directive.

Without taking further steps in the proceedings, the General Court decided to dismiss the challenge as “manifestly inadmissible,” in view of Article 263 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).

Under that article, proceedings for annulment must be instituted within two months of the publication of the contested measure, or of its notification to the plaintiff, or, in the absence thereof, of the day on which it came to the knowledge of the latter, as the case may be.

In its order, the General Court said: “In the present case, it is apparent from the documents in the file that the contested measure was published in the Official Journal on December 22, 2022. It follows that the time limit for applying for the annulment of that measure or of one of its provisions, in accordance with Article 263 TFEU, expired on March 15, 2023. The action, lodged on March 16, 2023, is therefore out of time.”

The General Court said the applicants have not pleaded the existence of unforeseeable circumstances to allow the Court to vary the time-limit in question.