Forta obligatorie a legislatiei europene


 Obligatiile prevazute in dreptul comunitar nu se pot impune statelor membre daca nu au fost publicate in Jurnalul Oficial al Uniunii Europene in limba noului stat membru 

The company Skoma-Lux is an importer and wine-merchant in the Czech Republic. The Czech customs authorities fined the company for failing to provide exact information on tariff classification of a wine product. The infractions sanctioned had been committed before and after the accession of the Czech Republic to EU, and for these latter infractions the fine was imposed under a Community regulation[1] which had not been published in the Official Journal of the European Union in Czech on the dates when the acts in question were committed.

 

The regulation was finally published in Czech in the Official Journal on 27 August 2004.

 

Skoma-Lux states that the failure of official publication leads to the unenforceability of the regulation against Czech nationals and brought an action before the Krajský soud v Ostravě against the customs fine which had been imposed on them on the basis of the regulation. The Czech court has asked the Court of Justice if obligations contained in a Community regulation which has not been published in the Official Journal of the European Union in the language of a new Member State, can be imposed on individuals in that State.

 In its judgment today, the Court recalls, first of all, that a Community regulation cannot take effect in law and be enforced against natural and legal persons in the Member States unless it has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. Furthermore, it points out that the proper publication of a Community regulation, with regard to a Member State whose language is an official language of the Union, must include the publication of that act, in that language, in the Official Journal.As to the fact that Skoma-Lux was supposed by definition to be informed of the applicable Community rules because its business is international trade and should thus have known the customs requirements in question, the Court sets out that such a fact is not sufficient to make Community legislation which has not been properly published in the Official Journal enforceable against an individual.Similarly, the availability of the regulation on the internet on the dates when the infractions were committed does not equate to a valid publication in the Official Journal in the absence of any rules in that regard in Community law.Under these circumstances, the Court rules that Community law precludes the obligations contained in Community legislation which has not been published in the Official Journal in the language of a new Member State, where that language is an official language of the Union, from being imposed on individuals in that State, even though those persons could have learned of that legislation by other means.Finally, the Court decides on the application for a limitation on the temporal effects of this judgment. In this regard, the Court states that the Member States concerned are not obliged to call into question the administrative or judicial decisions taken on the basis of rules such as the regulation which were not properly published, where those decisions have become definitive under the applicable national rules.Only in exceptional circumstances where such decisions, in particular of a coercive nature, would compromise fundamental rights, would this be necessary: it is for the competent national authorities to ascertain this. 

Done in Luxembourg, 13th December 2007

 Important notice: This is an unofficial document for media use, not binding on the Court of Justice. 


[1] Comission Regulation (EEC) No 2454/93 of 2 July 1993 laying down provisions for the implementation of Council Regulation (EEC) No 2913/92 establishing the Community Customs Code. 

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