The WTO, NAFTA and the TFEU: Regional Perspectives by WTO Members on Non-discrimination Obligations

  • Catherine A. BrownEmail author


The chapter addresses applicable non-discrimination principles impacting two World Trade Organization (WTO) Members, Canada and the UK, as a consequence of their respective memberships in the NAFTA and in the European Union (EU). Although both Canada and the UK are WTO Members, the non-discrimination obligations in tax matters splinter again when one looks at the operation of an integrated trade agreement. In Europe, direct tax measures are filtered through the lens of the free trade principles of the Treaty of Rome. EU members who are signatories to the GATS are subject to very different non-discrimination obligations with respect to tax measures when operating in a State that is a signatory to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) than, for example a service provider from a NAFTA Party operating in the same State. The non-discrimination obligations if any, that apply to a service provider from a State that is a GATS Member may therefore vary widely when providing services in another Member State depending on whether there is an additional integrated trade agreement like the TFEU with the source State. The non-discrimination obligations affecting service providers from EU Member State may also vary depending on the terms of the tax treaty between the EU Member States. The chapter concludes that there are many approaches to the matter of non-discrimination in tax matters and standards that may apply but there will be no minimum common standard of tax treatment for many non-residents without a non-discrimination obligation in a tax treaty.


European Union World Trade Organization Supra Note North American Free Trade Agreement Direct Taxation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



  1. Income Tax Act, RSC 1985.Google Scholar
  2. North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act American Statement of Administrative Action (US) Final Draft September 1993, c 21.3.Google Scholar

Treaties and Treaty Documents

  1. Convention between Canada and the United States of America with respect to Taxes on Income and on Capital, 26 September 1980 Can TS 1984 No 15.Google Scholar
  2. Convention Between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion With Respect to Taxes on Income and Capital Gains, 8 September 1978, Can TS 1980 No 25.Google Scholar
  3. Convention between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United Mexican States for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income, 8 April 1991, Can TS 1992 No 15.Google Scholar
  4. Convention Between the Government of The United States Of America And the Government of the United Mexican States for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income, 18 September 1992, Treaty Doc No 103-7, 103d Cong., 1st Sess.Google Scholar
  5. EC. (1997). Council Directive 77/799/EEC of 19 December 1977 concerning mutual assistance by the competent authorities of the Member States in the field of direct taxation, OJ, L336/15.Google Scholar
  6. EC. (2001). Council Directive 2001/44/EC of 15 June 2001 amending Directive 76/308/EEC on mutual assistance for the recovery of claims resulting from operations forming part of the system of financing the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund, and of agricultural levies and customs duties and in respect of value added tax and certain excise duties, OJ L 175/17.Google Scholar
  7. EU. (2012). Consolidated version of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, OJ C 326/47–326/390.Google Scholar
  8. EU. (2010). Council Directive 2010/24/EU of 16 March 2010 concerning mutual assistance for the recovery of claims relating to taxes, duties and other measures, OJ L 84/1.Google Scholar
  9. North American Free Trade Agreement Between the Government of Canada, the Government of Mexico, and the Government of the United States, 17 December 1992, Can TS 1994 No 2, 32 ILM 289.Google Scholar
  10. OECD. (2015). Model Tax Convention on Income and on Capital 2014 (Full Version). Paris: OECD Publishing.Google Scholar
  11. UN. (2011). Model Double Taxation Convention between Developed and Developing Counties, New York.Google Scholar
  12. WTO. (1994a). Canada Final List of Article II (MFN) Exemptions (15 April 1994) WTO Doc GATS/EU16, online: WTO <>.
  13. WTO. (1994b). Final Act Embodying the Results of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations, 15 April 1994.Google Scholar


  1. AG v Finanzamt Dortmund-Unna, C-294/97, [1999] ECR I-7447.Google Scholar
  2. ECJ, Algemene Maatschappij voor Investering en Dienstverlening NV (AMID) v Belgische Staat, C-141/99, [2000] ECR I-11619.Google Scholar
  3. ECJ, Anneliese Lenz v Finanzlandesdirektion für Tirol, C-315/02, [2004] ECR I-07063.Google Scholar
  4. ECJ, Arnoud Gerritse v Finanzamt Neukölln-Nord, C-234/01, [2003] ECR I-05933.Google Scholar
  5. ECJ, Belgian State—SPF Finances v Truck Center SA, C-282/07, [2008] ECR I-10767.Google Scholar
  6. ECJ, Cento Equestre da Lezíria Grande Lda v Bundesamt fur Finanzen, C-345/04, [2007] ECR I-1425.Google Scholar
  7. ECJ, Commission of the European Communities v Belgium, C-300/90, [1992] ECR I-305.Google Scholar
  8. ECJ, Commission of the European Communities v France, C-334/02, [2004] ECR I-2229.Google Scholar
  9. ECJ, Commission of the European Communities v France C-270/83, [1986], ECR I-00273.Google Scholar
  10. ECJ, Commission of the European Communities v Kingdom of Belgium, C-433/04, [2006] ECR, I-10653.Google Scholar
  11. ECJ, Commission v. Denmark, C-150/04, [2007] ECR I-1163.Google Scholar
  12. ECJ, Commission v Luxembourg, C-111/91, [1993] ECR I-817.Google Scholar
  13. ECJ, Compagnie de Saint-Gobain, Zweigniederlassung Deutschland v Finanzamt Aachen-Innenstadt, C 307/97, [1999] ECR I-6161.Google Scholar
  14. ECJ, D v Inspecteur van de Belastingdienst, C-376/03, [2005] ECR I-05821.Google Scholar
  15. ECJ, Eurowings Luftverkehrn, C-294/97, [1999] ECR I-7447.Google Scholar
  16. ECJ, Finanzamt Köln-Altstadt v Schumacker, C-279/93, [1995] ECR I-225.Google Scholar
  17. ECJ, FKP Scorpio Konzertproduktionen GmbH v Finanzamt Hamburg-Eimsbüttel, C-290/04, [2006] I–09461.Google Scholar
  18. ECJ, GHEJ Wielockx v Inspecteur der Directe Belastingen, C-80/94, [1995] ECR I-2493.Google Scholar
  19. ECJ, Giovanni Maria Sotgiu v Deutsche Bundespost, C-152/73, [1974] ECR 153.Google Scholar
  20. ECJ, Hanns-Martin Bachmann v Belgium, C-204/90, [1992] ECR I-249.Google Scholar
  21. ECJ, Laboratoires Fournier SA v Direction des vérifications nationales et internationales, C-39/04, [2005] I-02057.Google Scholar
  22. ECJ, Lindman, C-42/02, [2003] ECR I-13519.Google Scholar
  23. ECJ, Metallgesellschaft v Commissioners of Inland Revenue and HM Attorney General, C-397/98, [2001] ECR I-1727.Google Scholar
  24. ECJ, Rolf Dieter Danner, C-136-00, [2002] ECR I-8147.Google Scholar
  25. ECJ, Safir v Skattemyndigheten, C-118/96, [1998] ECR I-1897.Google Scholar
  26. ECJ, Skandia and Ramstedt v Riksskatteverket, C-422/01, [2003] ECR I-6817.Google Scholar
  27. ECJ, Skatteministeriet v Vestergaard, C-55/98, [1999] ECR I-7641.Google Scholar
  28. ECJ, X NV v Staatssecretaris van Financiën, C-498/10, [2012].Google Scholar
  29. EC, Treaty of Lisbon amending the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community, signed at Lisbon, 13 December 2007, [2007] OJ, C 306.Google Scholar
  30. Marks & Spencer plc v David Halsey (Her Majesty’s Inspector of Taxes), C-446/03 [2005] ECR I-10866.Google Scholar
  31. Saipem UK Ltd v R, [2011] 2 CTC 2341, 2011 TCC 25, aff’d [2012] 1 CTC 239, 2011 FCA 243.Google Scholar
  32. Saipem UK Ltd. v R, [2012] 1 CTC 239, 2011 FCA 243.Google Scholar

Secondary Material

  1. Molenaar, D., & Grams, H. (2007). Scorpio and the Netherlands: Major changes in Artiste and Sportsman Taxation in the European Union. 2 European Taxation 63.Google Scholar
  2. “Tax Discrimination and the Cross-Border Provision of Services—Canada/UK Perspectives” with M. O’Brien in C. Waters, British and Canadian Perspectives on International Law (Leiden/Boston: Martinus Nijhof Publishers, 2006).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of LawUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada

Personalised recommendations