Answer given by Mr Šemeta on behalf of the Commission
1. Annex VIII to the Treaty of peace with Italy of 10 February 1947 stipulates in its Article 1 that the port of Trieste shall be a customs free port. Article 5(2) of Annex VIII provides that in connection with importation into or exportation from or transit through the Free Port, the authorities of the Free Territory shall not levy on such goods customs duties or charges other than those levied for services rendered. Under Union law, this position is assured through the operation of the port as a Free Zone in accordance with the EC law provisions referred to below.
2. The Free Zone of Trieste is operated as a free zone of control type I. In accordance with Article 166 of the Community Customs Code it is a part of the customs territory of the Community in which non-Union goods are not subject to customs duties.
All operations which may be carried out in the Free Zone of Trieste must be in line with the customs provisions.
By virtue of Articles 156 and 160 of the Council Directive 2006/112/EC of 28 November 2006(1) Member States can through their national legislation and under their responsibility regarding correct application, exempt from VAT the supply of goods which are intended to be placed under free zones and the supply of goods or services carried out therein.