Court: ‘Portugal’s AV tax in line with European law’
October 28, 2022
From Branislav Pekic in Rome
The Court of Justice of the European Union (EU) has ruled that the audiovisual tax, collected from pay-TV operators in Portugal, is not contrary to EU Law.
In its judgment, the Court of Justice established that the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU) “does not preclude national legislation which imposes a charge intended to finance the promotion and distribution of cinematographic and audiovisual works”.
It also ruled that “it is not possible to conclude that the allocation of the revenue from the subscription fee has the effect of favouring Portuguese film and audiovisual production services to the detriment of services provided by providers established in other Member States”.
The dispute between Portugal’s National Film Institute (ICA) and operator Nowo regarding the payment of the annual fee dates back to 2013, when the former Cabovisão refused to pay the contribution.
According to the original text of the law, the fee applies to pay-TV operators such as NOS, Meo, Vodafone and Nowo and implied the collection of an annual fee of €2 per subscriber that contributes to the financing of film and TV productions in Portugal.
The annual value of this tax is calculated based on the number of existing subscriptions in the previous year, and may be increased up to a maximum value of €5 per subscriber.
According to the ICA website, this tax now stands at €3.50 per year and per subscriber.