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Parliamentary question - E-003581/2018(ASW)Parliamentary question

Answer given by Mr Navracsics on behalf of the European Commission

The Commission usually refers to the definition of sport established by the Council of Europe, which includes the important notion of physical activity. The World Health Organisation defines physical activity as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure. The Commission does not intend to establish a definition of sport for the purpose of sport-related initiatives taken at EU level.

In Case C-90/16 the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that Article 132(1)(m) of the VAT Directive[1] must be interpreted as meaning that an activity such as duplicate bridge, which is characterised by a physical element that appears to be negligible, is not covered by the concept of ‘sport’ within the meaning of that provision. The Court mentions, however, that that interpretation is without prejudice to the question whether an activity with a physical element that appears to be negligible may be covered by the concept of ‘cultural services’ within the meaning of the VAT Directive[2].

Member States taxing duplicate bridge must apply the standard rate of VAT under current rules. A proposal for new rules on VAT rates[3] was adopted by the Commission on 18 January 2018. Once adopted by the Council and subject to the entry into force of the definitive VAT system[4], the new rules would grant Member States more flexibility in setting VAT rates including the possibility of applying a reduced rate of VAT or an exemption with deductibility of the VAT paid at the preceding stage (‘zero rate’) to tournament or club membership fees for duplicate bridge.

Last updated: 21 August 2018
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