(Adds CEZ comment, background)
PRAGUE, July 14 (Reuters) - A Czech court has ruled against a tax imposed on carbon emission allowances granted free to companies, opening the way for state-owned electricity producer CEZ to claim back 5.3 billion crowns ($216 million) from the government.
The ruling was made on July 9 in favour of electricity producer Sko-Energo, according to the Supreme Adminstrative Court website.
Under the EU’s Emissions Trading Directive, companies were awarded free at least 90 percent of each member state’s permits for carbon emissions in 2008-2012.
The European Union’s Court of Justice ruled in February that the Czech tax, introduced in 2011 and set at 32 percent, was at odds with the directive in light of a 10 percent limit on the government selling or taxing credits.
CEZ spokeswoman Barbora Pulpanova said the company needed time to study the Czech ruling. In February, CEZ asked for the tax to be reimbursed to protect its interests.
The Czech court said it had not determined whether the EU’s 10 percent ceiling had been breached but it had given the tax authority detailed guidance on how to do so.
The government raised 7.4 billion crowns in the last four years to help increase subsidies for solar plants. (Reporting by Robert Muller and Petra Vodstrcilova; Editing by Louise Ireland)