The FEBEA has obtained from the Council of State, the highest administrative court in France, the recognition of an additional six month delay to undertake the declaration formalities which will serve to calculate the tax amount per company.
Tax on the turnover
The Law on the tax passed in December 2011 concerns companies subject to VAT who are placing on the French market for the first time, cosmetic products, after they were manufactured or after they importation. Simply put, manufacturers and importers who market in France finished cosmetic products, but also subcontractors who transfer the ownership of finished cosmetic products - which excludes, the FEBEA believes , "those who only provide occasionally some services ( contract manufacturing, packaging, conditioning)."
The declarations formalities that must fulfil the concerned companies consist in two main steps:
The declaration with the tax authorities of the tax amount to pay, which is done at the same time as the VAT declaration, on the same document,
The declaration with the ANSM (National Security Agency of Medicines and Health Products, the successor to the AFSSAPS) of the turnover achieved the previous year, i.e., 2011 for this year.
Action for interim relief
Details on the modalities of the declaration with the Agency, that companies were asked to submit no later than March 31, 2012, having only been released on March 23 (8 days only before the time-limit for the filing), the FEBEA initiated proceedings for interim suspension with the Council of State, while negotiating with the Agency so that no penalties would be applied until April 30 in the case of absence of declaration.
"A misdeclaration or an absence of declaration, would have been subject to heavy fines (up to 45,000 euros) - this would have caused irreparable harm to many VSBs-SMEs in our industry," explained the Federation.
Alain Grangé Cabane, President of the FEBEA, personally pleaded the case of the industry at a hearing on April 24th.
Finally, through a summary judgement issued on Monday 30 April, the Council of State officially confirmed the necessity and validity of a further period of six months (until September 30 2012) to enable companies to fulfil their declaration.
According to the FEBEA, the granting of this extended deadline will enable "companies who had not declared yet, to take the necessary time to complete this declaration and hand it out to the Agency, and to those who, feeling they had responded to swiftly under time pressure, to make the necessary corrections."
The granting of this additional time period does not prejudge however, the outcome of other proceedings against the tax undertaken by the representatives of the French cosmetics industry. At the FEBEA officials say they are "fully mobilized for the future..."