8 Eur. L. Rep. 1 (2004)

handle is hein.journals/eurlawreo8 and id is 1 raw text is: [2004] EuLR

A      S & S SERVICES LTD v COMMISSIONERS OF
CUSTOMS AND EXCISE
Value Added Tax Tribunal
(London Tribunal Centre)
Dr Nuala Brice (Chairman)
15 January 2003
B
Directions hearing - Disclosure - Access to documents - Duty of European
Commission to produce documents to national court under Zwartveld orders-
Value Added Tax Tribunal Rules 1986
Facts
C
S & S Services Ltd (the appellant) appealed to the VAT Tribunal against post-
clearance demands made by Customs and Excise in respect of consignments of fruit
juice imported from Israel during the period from 1995 to 1999. S & S Services Ltd
sought disclosure of certain documents held by Customs and Excise, including a copy
of a Mission Report, and if there was no such report, then other documentation
D  arising from the joint enquiries carried out in Israel by the European Commission.
Customs and Excise requested these documents from the Commission, which
responded that S & S Services Ltd should write to the Commission directly to request
access to the documents, in accordance with Regulation No. 1049/2001.
The VAT Tribunal ordered the issue of a witness summons to the Head of
Representation at the London office of the European Commission. The Commission
responded by sending to the Tribunal two bundles of documents, one with confiden-
E  tial documents, the other with non-confidential documents, and a witness summons
stating that all the documents had been treated pursuant to the orders of the European
Court of Justice in Case C-2/88 Criminal Proceedings against Zwartveld and others
[1990] ECR 1-3365, [1990] ECR 1-4405.
All the documents received by the VAT Tribunal in the confidential bundle appeared
in the non-confidential bundle. Parts of 11 of the documents in the confidential bundle
F  had been deleted before copying for the non-confidential bundle.
Held
1. Under the Zwartveld orders, the European Commission was obliged to produce to
a national authority (e.g. a court) the documents which it had requested, unless
G     it had imperative reasons relating to the need to avoid any interference with the
functioning and independence of the Communities justifying its refusal to do so.
See post p. 6E-H.
2. Apart from three deletions, all deletions in the confidential bundle came within the
Zwartveld principles, either because the deleted text was a legitimate exclusion
connected with the protection of the rights of third parties, or because the deleted
H     text did not concern the actual facts at issue before the Tribunal in the appeal. See
post p. 8B-D.

Q 2004 Hart Publishing Ltd.
CCC 1091-3297/04/010001-11

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