The European Commission has, today, adopted its long-awaited decision on the UK aggregates levy, following a formal investigation that commenced in July 2013. (See previous blog posts for earlier events in this saga, which dates back to 2002.) The decision itself is not yet available on the Commission’s website, but the conclusions are summarised in a Press release just published. In short, the Commission has found that most of the exemptions from the aggregates levy do not constitute aid. In the case of shale, however, where it is deliberately quarried for commercial use as aggregates, the Commission has found that an exemption from the aggregates levy is not justified and therefore constitutes a State aid that must now be recovered. It appears that this does not extend to shale that is produced as a by-product of coal extraction or which is used in certain industrial (non-aggregate) processes.
The full decision will be available here when it is published.