A man from the Western Romanian city of Arad has won a court case against the Romanian state over the controversial first car registration tax applied by the government and harshly criticized by the European Commission. Magistrates at the Arad court declared that collecting the tax, which the man challenged, was illegal as there were no legal tools for collecting it.

Ilie Iluna bought a 2002-made car from Austria in summer 2007, for which it paid 9,700 euro. Back home, he was forced to pay a registration tax amounting to 6,200 RON (about 2,000 euro). Iluna paid the tax in order to register the car, but challenged it in court as, his lawyer said, he knew the tax was declared contrary to EU law.

Lawyer Cosmin Costas said he believed the Romanian state would also lose other cases on the issue and it would be forced to comply with a decision of the European Court of Justice, which the European Commission said it would notify about the Romanian tax within two months.