Place of supply of storage services

Minister Finansów v RR Donnelley Global Turnkey Solutions Poland sp. Z o.o. (C-155/12)

Advocate General Kokott delivered his opinion in this case on 31 January 2013. The point at issue was whether the service of storing goods constituted a supply of property related services (the place of supply is where the property is located); or was the supply covered by the general business to business rule (the place of supply is where the recipient is established)?

The Court has ruled previously that in order for a service to be a property related service, there must be a “sufficiently direct” connection between the service and the property. The Advocate General opined that it was compelling to regard the actual storage of the goods as the principal supply and the admission, placement, issuing etc of the goods as ancillary supplies, on the basis that the latter are not an end in themselves, but are to facilitate the storage of the goods.

The Advocate General, in considering the place of supply, indicated that the Court should follow the proposal of the referring court that “a sufficiently direct connection between a service and immovable property should be found if specific immovable property is the subject matter of the service”. In summary, the AG indicated that the supply of storage services can display a sufficiently close connection with property “only if it is linked with a right to use a specific property or a specific part of a property. Only then is the subject matter of the service the immovable property itself”. If this link is not present, then the subject matter of the supply is merely the goods to be stored. The full judgment can be found by clicking here.