EUCJ decided that Italian criminal laws related to suspension of a limitation period in relation to crimes concerning serious VAT fraud do not fulfil the State’s duty to ensure imposition of effective and dissuasive penalties for such crimes. It was determined that national legislation possibly violates financial interests of the European Union and creates de facto impunity in such cases. Therefore, the national court should not apply provisions of national legislation the effect of which would be to prevent the Member State concerned from fulfilling its obligations.

This decision demonstrates the superiority of Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union over local legislation and possibility to protect financial interests of the European Union even if local legislation does not ensure that.