VanGendEnLoosVNetherlands

- JUDGMENT OF 5 2 1963 CASE 26/62 excluded when from review by the Court the occasion arise before a national hearing an 1 application for a court

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Unformatted text preview: JUDGMENT OF 5. 2. 1963 -- CASE 26/62 excluded when from review by the Court the occasion arise, before a national hearing an 1 application for a court. preliminary ruling. 5. 3. The European Economic constitutes a According scheme to the spirit, the general Community order of of and the wording of must the EEC new legal the Treaty, Article 12 ted be interpre and nat international which law for benefit the states have limited their sovereign rights, the albeit within subjects limited which as producing direct effects creating individual rights which ional courts must protect. fields, but and of comprise not also only of the Member States 6. It follows from scheme the wording of and of the the their nationals. general of not Article to 12 Independendy Member only imposes uals upon of the legislation Treaty whether that, in order ascertain States, Community law obligations customs duties effect and charges on individ having equivalent have been but is also intended to confer part them rights which become These increased contrary to contained in the said must and the prohibition Article, customs regard their legal heritage. only where rights ex be had to the duties arise not they are charges pressly also granted by the Treaty but Member actually States at the of applied by the date of the by reason of obligations which Treaty imposes in a clearly de way upon entry into force 7. the Treaty. 2 of fined individuals as well as upon the Member States of and upon Where, after the Treaty, charged with the entry into force same the a product rate of is the institutions that the Community. 169 and higher whether duty, of irrespective arises rate of this increase the re 4. The fact of Articles 170 from an actual increase or the EEC and Treaty the the enable the Com of customs of duty the from the a mission Member Court a States to arrangement tariff of resulting product bring has not before State which in the a classification not fulfilled its obligations of does right under more highly taxed heading, Article deprive individuals the such increase is the illegal under to plead the same obligations, should 12 of EEC Treaty. In Case 26/62 Reference to the Court under under of subparagraph (a) of the first paragraph and the third paragraph Article 177 the European Economic administrative tribunal Community by having final action Treaty establishing the Tariefcommissie, a Netherlands of the jurisdiction in revenue cases, for a preliminary ruling in the pending before that court between N.V. Algemene TRANSPORT-- en Expeditie Onderneming VAN GEND & Loos, having its registered office at Utrecht, represented by H.G. Stibbe ter Kuile, both Advocates of Amsterdam, with an address for and L.F .D. 1 -- 2 -- Cf. Paragraph No 4 Cf. Paragraph No 1 of of Summary Summary of of Judgment in Case 13/61, Rec. 1962., Judgment in Case 10/61, Rec. 1962., p. 94. 5. p. 2 VAN GEND EN LOOS v NEDERLANDSE ADMINISTRATIS DER BELASTINGEN service in Luxembourg at the Consulate-General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and nederlandse ADMINISTRATIE der belastingen (netherlands of inland and Revenue ADMINISTRATION ), Excise at represented address by the Inspector Customs at Zaandam, with an for service in Luxembourg the Netherlands Embassy, on the following questions: 1. Whether Article 12. of the EEC in Treaty has direct other application within nationals of the territory a of a Member the State, words, whether such State can, on basis of the Article in question, lay claim to individual rights which the courts must protect; 2. In the event of an affirmative reply, the whether the application of an import duty main of 8% to of the import into Netherlands by the applicant in the action ureaformaldehyde an unlawful Germany 12 of the ation represented originating in the Federal Republic of increase within the meaning of Article reasonable alteration alter EEC of the Treaty or whether it was in this case a duty applicable before 1 March 1960, an an which, although amounting to not increase from regarded as the arithmetical point of view, of is nevertheless to be prohibited under the terms Article 12; THE COURT composed of of: A. M. Dormer, President, L. Delvaux and R. Rossi (Presidents and Chambers), O. Riese, Ch. L. Hammes (Rapporteur), A. Trabucchi R. Lecourt, Judges, K. Roemer Advocate-General: Registrar: A. Van Houtte gives the following 3 JUDGMENT OF 5. 2. 1963 -- CASE 26/62 JUDGMENT Issues of fact and of law I -- Facts and procedure Duties gen. applicable spec. % % The facts and as the procedure may be 1. Aminoplasts summarized follows: in aqueous emulsions, 1. On 9 September 1960 the dispersions company Expeditie (here solutions or N. V. Algemene Transport- en 10% the an 8%' Onderneming inafter called van Gend en Loos & 4. On this basis, applied Dutch ad revenue 'Van a Gend Loos'), of authorities port valorem im according to 8 September customs declaration duty of 8% to the importation in on form D.5061, imported the question. into the Netherlands from Republic of Federal Germany 5. On 20 September 1960 Van Gend & of a quantity im ureaformaldehyde, described in the 'Harnstoffharz (U.F. as port document Loos lodged of an objection with the at Inspector Zaandam Customs the and Excise of resin) 70, aqueous emulsion of urea- against application this formaldehyde'. 2. On duty put in the present case. The company the forward in arguments: particular following the date of importation, was classified the product in question of in On 1 the heading entered 39.01-a-1 into the tariff of import which EEC January 1958, the date on which Treaty entered into force, in emulsion duties listed in The 'Tariefbesluit' aminoplasts the on of were of classified force the 1 March 1960. under heading 279-a-2 of the and tariff in nomenclature the 'Tariefbesluit' the 'Tariefbesluit' 1947, which charged of is taken from with protocol an ad valorem import concluded duty 3%. into between the Grand Kingdom of of Belgium, and at the the In the 'Tariefbesluit' entered Duchy of Luxembourg in 16 the force was on Instead 1 March of applying, Kingdom on the Netherlands Brussels Nether replaced of 1960, heading 279-a-2 by heading 39.01-a. in respect 25 lands July 1958, ratified by the Law of Instead applying, in respect of intra- December 1959. Community trade, an import duty of 3% uniformly to all products under the old heading 279-a-2, a sub-division was created: 3. The as wording of heading 39.01-a-l only poly-con 39.01-a-l, in which contained aminoplasts or aqueous and was follows: of and or emulsions, dispersions condensation, poly-addition, polymerized, of which whether solutions, in respect 'Products densation modified import other which duty was fixed in at 8%. For the products heading not, or linear allylic poly 39.01-a, in the also had been included (phenoplasts, polyesters aminoplasts, alkyds, other etc. old and non-saturated . . .): duty was of heading 279-a-2, the import 3;% applied on 1 January 1958 esters, silicones maintained. (a) Liquid or paste products, including solutions: By the thus increasing in the import after duty on emulsions, dispersions and product question the entry 4 VAN GEND EN LOOS v NEDERLANDSE ADMINISTRATIS DER BELASTINGEN into force of the EEC Treaty, that the Dutch of that August the 1962, for questions a preliminary out ruling Government infringed Article 12 two set above. Tariefcom Treaty, States duties charges which provides Member 10. The was decision notified of on the shall refrain from any or introducing customs or missie 23 August 1962 between themselves new by the Registrar to and of the to Court the to the on imports exports any parties the action, the Member of from having equivalent effect, and increasing those which they already their trade with each other. of objection States to Commission the EEC. 11. Pursuant col on apply in 6. The was to Article 20 of of the Proto Van Gend & Loos the of Statute EEC to the Court of dismissed of on 6 March 1961 and by the at Justice were the written observations Inspector Customs Excise submitted the Court action, Zaandam inadmissibil on the ground of was not parties to the of main by by the the of ity, because it the actual against directed of against Government the Kingdom of the application rate. the tariff but Belgium, Republic of the of Government Federal the Germany, and of the Commission of the EEC the Government 7. Van Gend & Loos this appealed against the Kingdom decision the Netherlands. the oral to the Tariefcommissie, Amsterdam, 8. The its case on 4 April 1961. 12. At the public hearing the Court on 29 was November of of 1962, submis heard by the Tarief support of sions and were the plaintiff the in the main action of commissie of on 21 May 1962. In Van Commission the same the EEC ques application for the annulment heard. At were the contested put decision Gend & tions put to to them these hearing by the Court. were Loos forward in its The the arguments already Written within replies supplied submitted objection of 20 Septem adminis the prescribed time. gave ber tratie 1960. Nederlandse replied 13. The 12 Advocate-General oral his he der that belastingen when in par reasoned en opinion at the ticular tered was the EEC Treaty in hearing in its on December that the into force not 1962, in Court which the product under of question proposed should charged with a the heading 3% but, intended 279-a-2 duty only and judgment only answer the first question referred to it and hold that Article 12 of the because of its composition EEC application, was classified under heading 332 bis ('synthetic and other adhesives, not Treaty imposes a duty only on Member States. Arguments vations stated or included elsewhere') a and II -- and obser charged with not duty of 10% so that there had in fact been any increase. without The arguments contained in the obser 9. The a Tariefcommissie, decision product on giving fell vations submitted in accordance of with of formal the question the the of second paragraph Article 20 of the whether the in bis question or Protocol on the Statute Court within heading of the 332 heading took of Justice of the the European parties Economic the and main 279-a-2 the 1947 the 'Tariefbesluit', arguments Community by action, the to view that a the the Member may States the as parties raised question interpretation therefore of the concerning EEC Treaty. the Commission folows: be summarized It A-- suspended proceedings para The first question and, in conformity graph of with the third the Article 177 the of Treaty, on re Admissibility The ferred to Court of Justice 16 Netherlands Government, the 5 JUDGMENT OF 5. 2. 1963 -- CASE 26/62 Belgian landse it Government administratie and the Neder of the EEC Treaty can and of is within the der belastingen declared with exclusive jurisdiction the Netherlands answered (which in its that the was statement complete of case court, because it only be the in agreement according and of to the constitutional principles of national observations submitted by Gend of the that jurisprudence Netherlands. law Netherlands the main Government) of confirm the complaint Van & the The out Belgian that a Government on also points Loos against tie Governments is that decision the first question un Benelux Protocol countries of by the Brussels 25 of July the Article creasing customs other 12 1958 they infringed EEC Treaty by in entry into force a in their trade with of to the Court is not only necessary to enable the Tariefcommissie to give its judgment but cannot even referred after its have any influence actual resolve. problem on the solution to the duty applied which it is asked to Member States the Com munities. In fact, give, the whatever answer the Court has it to the The Netherlands an a Government can disputes of may solve right the same Tariefcommissie problem : whether alleged infringement the Has Treaty by mitted Member State be sub to ignore the law of 16 December to the judgment other of the Court laid 1959 ratifying the Brussels with Protocol, law the by say a procedure than that that because it of conflicts an earlier down by br in Article 169 or 170, is to on the initiative the of another Member 5 December 1957 ratifying establishing the EEC? question Treaty an State tains not of Commission. that the It main The raised is not a therefore particular matter can appropriate question for preliminary enable be brought of before the of Court by ruling, the since its answer cannot means the procedure reference court which has to adjudicate upon for 177. The a preliminary ruling under Article Nether the merits of the main action to make a final decision in the proceedings pend Court, according to the lands Government, cannot, in text a of ing before The other it. the con Commission of the that EEC, the on the of the present of proceedings, nature, since decide it does hand, law observes of effect on problem this the the provisions the Treaty States actual the not relate to interpretation of but in to a national of Member cannot national the application the Treaty be law determined of each of by the specific case. maintains them but by the Treaty of The Belgian Government the that itself. The doubt Treaty. Further to one problem is therefore without the first of question is a reference to the of interpretation Court a problem of constitutional within law, That which falls of exclusively confronted the the Commission that a calls of attention jurisdiction court the Netherlands both law. It of court. the fact finding the the inadmis and is with which two are sibility would have be of paradoxical international part of treaties shocking result would that rights of in the national must decide dividuals of protected in all cases under national law--assuming other or that they infringement in the case Community an law ex are in fact over contradictory--which treaty exactly cept of infringement by prevails the more of a Member State. the substance whether a prior national law ratifica tion prevails over a subsequent of one. national On This do is a typical question which Van Gend & the Loos answers in the the constitutional with the has nothing to interpretation of an Article law affirmative question whether: Article has internal effect. 6 VAN GEND EN LOOS v NEDERLANDSE ADMINISTRATIE DER BELASTINGEN It maintains in is particular that: without throughout munity. the whole of the Com- --Article any na preliminary incorporation in the tional legislation of Member States, since 12 applicable The result is first on that the the effect of Community law Member States internal law of it only imposes a negative cannot be determined obligation; by effect without of this --it has direct measures any further implementation under as all munity courts rules of internal law but only by Com law, further that the national are bound to Community customs legislation, applied the Community court apply directly law and finally the that duties their by Member other the national is bound to ensure prevail States in were trade on that the rules of over with each Community law bound of 1 January not of 1957 (Article 14 --although refer the Treaty); conflicting national laws even they are passed later. The Commission observes in this text rule if con the the Article does nationals directly Member that the fact that a to Community States but is, as regards to the of national authorities, affects of the states does not infringement the it adversely from individuals in it its form, directed to of itself take away have an interest who it to be applied fundamental and principles the well the right to require national courts. Community, as individuals must as in the As tion the Community such be protected regards more against infringements; well particularly the the the ques referred to Court, of Com --it is particularly application which adapted for mission is of a the opinion that Article of direct court by set the aside national 12 contains rule law capable must the ap being court. effectively applied by the national plication of customs or duties introduced of increased in breach its pro It is a provision which sense a visions. in emphasizes the that it creates is perfectly clear for Member obligation The first only Commission of the im the not pro States specific unambiguous portance the Court's will answer to question. on It have an of effect relating law in their to the extension of their a matter which internal affects or directly not provision the interpretation the case nationals and it is affected of vision at issue in a specific and qualified by a any other the on the effect which will be attributed to Treaty. It is also complete it in the legal but the also on systems of Member States provisions of and self-sufficient require measure on certain other provision a in that it does level any form to not Treaty as which are as clear and com Community concrete new to plete Article 12. to the give the obligation According sis of Commission of an analy which it defines. the the legal structure system the Treaty estab The Netherlands effect Government the that of draws of a and of legal on which it distinction between internal effect and question the the lishes shows the one not hand that only the direct Member undertake States did intend but to to (or direct applicability), the to first, mutual a commitments according of it, being that the a pre-condition establish and not on system other of Community law, that the the second. question of the whether the hand they did It a considers particular wish to withdraw application provision Treaty has of this law from the the tion of national ordinary courts of law. jurisdic an internal the effect can only be all answered essential in affirmative, namely parties if the the However, effectively Community and law must be elements, intention the of the uniformly applied contracting and material 7 JUDGMENT OF 5. 2. 1963 -- CASE 26/62 terms of the provision under such a considera of these States to cooperate in the tion, With allows conclusion. intention of future; the regard to the --it of would put in issue means the of responsibility a procedure parties to the Treaty the Netherlands examina States by Government tion to an are of maintains actual that an which was not designed for this the establish wording is sufficient that Article 12 only places on purpose. The Belgian Government Article 12 is not one of maintains that obligation Member States, who the provisions fulfil free to decide how they intend to this obligation. A comparison with provisions of --which are the exception in the Treaty rule --having Article direct internal not effect. a other the Treaty have confirms 12 does constitute of this finding. Article it 12 law does a not of general application providing new that As internal any introduction or of a customs effect cannot, the fortiori, have Article 12 direct effect. duty duty is any increase It in an existing effect or obliges is automatically without Even if an fact on that places obligation Member as an States in were absolutely void. Member States to such merely refrain from taking a to be it considered internal effect, measures. not it cannot have direct effect the sense It does create therefore directly could that permits the nationals of subjective protect. Member which applicable right which nationals requires a States the to assert must rights invoke and enforce. It at from to courts Governments Govern attain action later the date Alternatively ment argues conditions the Netherlands the objective court fixed by Treaty. to that, so far as the necessary for its direct application are the a A national cannot be asked enforce compliance with this obligation. concerned, EEC Treaty does in not The German Government is opinion also of the differ treaty. respect from The standard international this that Article not 12 of a the EEC pro conclusive factors of Treaty vision does which constitute legal are the intention of the parties is directly obligation which applicable in and the provisions the Treaty. under all an of Member States. It imposes international customs on them However 12 is the question whether (in the field im en Netherlands constitutional law one Article policy) must be directly the applicable is of concern plemented by national authorities ing law interpretation does the not come Netherlands dowed with legislative State the powers. and within the juris Customs of at a duties applicable of to a citizen diction of Court of Justice. Government would answer Member the Community, period, the Finally indicates the Netherlands the effect least do during not transitional what be, in thus derive from EEC its view, of an first question missie : affirmative to the put by the Tariefcom Treaty or the legal measures taken by the institutions, but from legal measures enacted by Member States. Article 12 only which --it would upset of the system which the lays down the provisions with cus authors the Treaty with intended to toms they must comply in legislation. the obligation their establish; Moreover create, regard --it would to the applies to the other many provisions which in laid down only contracting Member provision which Community impose regu States. In German law a lations gations expressly obli legal on tainty could in call Member States, an kind the law of a in question uncer laid the down a customs of duty which provisions valid. Article contrary to 12 would be the readiness perfectly 8 VAN GEND EN LOOS v NEDERLANDSE ADMINISTRATIS DER BELASTINGEN Within the the framework legal States is of of the EEC does the not involve the interpretation of Treaty of visions protection nationals Treaty. also considers Member secured, their by pro Van Gend & Loos that derogating from national of direct would form of the second question constitutional system, only in taken respect necessitate which an examination of the those measures of by the institutions of facts for diction Article the Court has a no juris under the Community which are direct na when it makes ruling and individual concern to such 177. The real question for be tionals. interpretation worded as according follows: to it could Is it B-- possible for a derogation from 1 March the The second question rules applied before 1960 (or more not accurately, to before the 1 January of of Admissibility The 1958) be in nature an increase prohibited even by Article 12 this an the Treaty, Netherlands are as of though represents derogation increase? and Belgian Govern that arithmetically ments second the as opinion the well the first question is On the substance inadmissible. According question to them the answer to the whether in fact the a Brussels Van Gend & Loos repeats in detail of the Protocol those the of of 1958 who represents failure to by history plasts of the classification amino states are signatories fulfil in the successive tariffs charged to show a obligations laid down in Article 12 cannot that the of not the EEC Treaty of a be given in duty and of company was 8% instead of with 3% intentionally inevitable effect the context preliminary ruling, of because of the because the the issue and is not the application Treaty its interpretation. presupposes adapting the old tariff to the new. The Netherlands Government was there Moreover a of careful such an answer fore in breach of Article 12 of the study and a specific evaluation the facts and circumstances peculiar a given EEC Treaty when it increased its trade a customs duty The applied in with other to situation, under and this is also Member States. and inadmissible Article 177. Netherlands reply of Belgian Govern modifi The sizes, a Netherlands Government that empha ments cation furthermore, to if a failure the by the that, before the Benelux Tariff of was 1958, to an head of state fulfil its Community than those obliga ureaformaldehyde not subject tions could be brought before other Court under import duty of 3 % laid down for the by of a procedure and ing laid 279-a-2 to 'Tariefbesluit' of an Articles 169 that 170 the legal protection 1947, but down hesives). import duty 332 of 10% (ad- state would be considerably for heading bis diminished. The German a Government, objection of without In fact in experience showed that the goods were a making sibility, formal inadmis question usually used as glue maintains an that Article 12 only on and that used as as general rule they could minis imposes states international that obligation be in such. Therefore the and the question whether tries concerned question decided always that the product national rules enacted for its with implemen was to be taxed as tation tion the do not comply this obliga glue and was to be the included intended under cannot depend under upon a decision since of Court Article 177 it heading 332 bis. Although, when appli- 9 JUDGMENT OF 5. 2. 1963 -- CASE 26/62 cation of the product in dispute the was not by the various Member States in but It their sufficiently in certain sie specified, cases Tariefcommis relations with each other also relates allows no classified it under to each individual even product. heading 279-a-2, Benelux port the authorities of an of the exception partial or provisional. States of charged it with im The in Commission then points out that, duty 10% from of the put an the date the the context of Article 12, regard must entry into force clature, possible which Brussels end nomen be had to the duty from to any when the Treaty results entered actually applied into force. argument. This duty the whole of the practice of There this can be of a no an question, therefore, in provisions and case, or increase of a customs administrative customary law. duty Van of of derogation from of the pro However, an isolated classification under visions Article 12 the Treaty. that another tariff heading is in itself of insuffi charge Gend fillers & or Loos of replies only to cient proof that the able under duty 10% is aqueous which solutions aminoplasts heading to 332 bis not in binders had been required make an added fact In a applied case of aminoplasts. and of a which only to the addition ad this hardener that effective concept it is necessary to recognize prima facie legality: when interpretation and hesive, could is to say, as solutions raw which there is in an official by the be be considered classified materials, competent administration with instruc could under heading 332 tions conformity this to interpre executive rules bis. The Commission of the EEC is of first that the prohibition opinion Article are of tation the officers have to a been fix the given detailed is the of for ap in levying plied' duty, the that 'duty 12 relates of to all goods subject which within of meaning Article 12 capable being which the matter the Treaty. therefore, the considers applied trade between to Member such States (to The the the Commission, of the to extent trade relates con duty 10% as duty on products of ditions Article complying Article 9(2)). not with the entry into force of the Treaty. There has not therefore been in this case any 12 only aims at the general increase contrary to Article 12. maintenance of customs duties applied Grounds I -- of judgment Procedure objection No has the been Court raised under concerning the of procedural validity of the the reference to Article 177 the EEC Treaty by of Tariefcommissie, a court or tribunal within Further, no grounds exist for the Court to motion. the meaning the that of Article. raise matter its own II -- The first question A-- Jurisdiction of the Court of the The Government the to Netherlands on and the Belgian Government that the the reference challenge not jurisdiction of the Court to the ground of relates the interpretation but the application Treaty in the context of 10 VAN GEND EN LOOS v NEDERLANDSE ADMINISTRATIS DER BELASTINGEN the constitutional no law to of the Netherlands, over and that in particular the Court has of jurisdiction EEC decide, into should the occasion arise, whether the provisions or over other the Treaty prevail Netherlands legislation agreements national entered by the the Netherlands and incorporated into Dutch within law. The solution of such a of problem, it is claimed, falls courts, subject the exclusive jurisdiction with national to an application in the accordance the provisions laid down by Articles 169 and 170 of Treaty. However in of this case the Court is to not asked to adjudicate upon the application of Treaty according Netherlands, which remains the the principles the national law of the the concern of the national courts, but is asked, in conformity the with subparagraph (a) of the first paragraph of Article 177 said of Treaty, the only to interpret the scope of Article with 12 of the to Treaty on within context of Community has law and reference its effect individuals. This argument therefore no legal foundation. The Belgian Government further on argues which that the the Court has could on no jurisdiction to the the ground that no answer Court give first question of the proceedings Tariefcommissie would have any bearing the result of the brought in that court. However, in the order to confer jurisdiction on the Court in the present case it is necessary only that the question raised should clearly be which well concerned with interpretation court of the Treaty. The considerations of questions may have led as a national or tribunal to its choice as the relevance which it attributes to such questions in the context of a case before it are excluded from review by the Court of Justice. It appears from the wording of the questions referred that interpretation answer of the Treaty. The Court therefore has the they relate to the jurisdiction to them. This argument, too, is therefore unfounded. B-- On the first substance of the Case the The question of Tariefcommissie in national of this is whether Article that 12 of the of Treaty has direct application on law in the sense nationals Member States may national court must the basis Article lay claim to rights which the protect. 11 JUDGMENT OF 5. 2. 1963 -- CASE 26/62 To in ascertain whether the provisions of an international treaty extend so far their effects it is necessary to consider the spirit, the general scheme and the wording of those provisions. The the objective of the of EEC Treaty, is of which is to establish a to Common Market, in the functioning mutual which direct is concern interested parties Community, implies creates that this Treaty between to more than an agreement which obligations the contracting which states. refers This not merely is view to the of confirmed by the preamble peoples. the also Treaty with only governments establishment which affects but to of It is confirmed more specifically it by must institutions endowed and sovereign rights, the exercise Member States also their citizens. Furthermore, in the be are noted that the nationals of the called upon states brought together of this to cooperate of in the functioning Parliament Community Community through Economic and the intermediary Committee. the European and the Social In addition the task assigned to the Court of Justice under Article 177, the object of which courts and is to secure uniform confirms interpretation states of the Treaty by national tribunals, an that the can have acknowledged that Com munity law has authority which be invoked by their nationals before those courts and tribunals. The new conclusion to of be drawn from this is that the Community of constitutes states a legal order international law for rights, albeit the benefit which the have limited of their sovereign within limited fields, but also and the subjects which comprise of the not only Member of States their nationals. Independently not upon legislation Member States, Community law also therefore to confer only imposes them not obligations which on individuals but is part of intended rights become are their legal heritage. These rights arise only where they expressly granted by a the Treaty, but also by reason of obligations which the the Treaty imposes Member States in clearly defined way upon upon individuals the as well as upon and the institutions of Community. With duties regard to the general scheme of the Treaty must as it relates to customs and charges 9, is which bases the having equivalent Community upon of effect it be emphasized that Article a customs provision the prohibition of these customs at union, includes as an essential duties and charges. This provision the found the beginning the part of Treaty which defines the 'Foundations of the Community'. It is applied and explained by Article 12. 12 VAN GEND EN LOOS v NEDERLANDSE ADMINISTRATIS DER BELASTINGEN which The wording of Article 12 contains is not a positive but a negative not a clear and unconditional prohibition obligation. This obligation, moreover, legislative is qualified by law. any reservation on upon a the part of states which would make positive measure enacted its implementation under conditional national adapted to produce The very nature of this prohibition makes it ideally direct effects in the legal relationship between Member States and their subjects. The implementation on of Article 12 does not require any legislative intervention Article it is the Member does not the part of the states. who are made The fact subject that under this States the of the negative obligation this obligation. imply that their nationals cannot benefit from In addition the argument the three based on Articles 169 and 170 of the Treaty that put forward by of Governments of which have submitted observations to the Court in their statements case is misconceived. The fact these Articles the the Treaty Court enable a the Commission has not and the Member obligations States does to bring mean before that State which fulfilled its not individuals a national of cannot plead these obligations, should the occasion places arise, before at court, any more than the fact that the ways of Treaty the disposal those the Commission ensuring that obligations imposed in upon subject to the Treaty are observed, precludes the possibility, actions of between individuals before a national court, of pleading infringements these obligations. A restriction of the guarantees procedures of against under an infringement and of Article would 12 by Member States to the all Article 169 rights under 170 remove direct legal the protection recourse the individual procedure of their nationals. There is risk that to the these Articles would be ineffective if it taken were to occur after the implementation Treaty. of a national decision contrary to the provisions of the The an vigilance of individuals in concerned to protect their rights amounts to effective supervision addition of the to the supervision entrusted by Articles 169 and 170 to the diligence Commission and of the Member States. It follows from the foregoing effects considerations that, according to the spirit, the general scheme and the as wording of the Treaty, Article 12 must be interpreted national producing direct must protect. and creating individual rights which courts 13 JUDGMENT OF 5. 2. 1963 -- CASE 26/62 III -- The second question A-- The jurisdiction of the Court to the observations of the of According the an Belgian to and Netherlands can Governments, be answered, wording this question appears require, before it examination by the Court of the a tariff classification of on which ureaformaldehyde imported into and with call the Netherlands, Customs classification Van Gend & Loos opinions the Inspector of regard and Excise of at Zaandam hold different question to the 'Tariefbesluit' 1947. The but clearly does application not for an interpretation customs of the to Treaty the concerns the of Netherlands legislation classification upon of aminoplasts, of which is outside the jurisdiction conferred the Court the Justice of the of European Article Communities by subparagraph (a) of first paragraph 177. The Court has the therefore no jurisdiction to consider the reference made by Tariefcommissie. However, product as the real meaning of the question put by the Tariefcommissie is charged a on whether, in law, a an effective not increase in increase in of customs duties but of a given result of an the rate new classification contravenes of the product prohibition arising from in Article 12 of a change its tariff description the the Treaty. interpretation Viewed in this this way the of question and put is concerned with an of provision the to Treaty more should be given the concept of particularly of the meaning which duties applied before the Treaty entered into force. Therefore the Court has jurisdiction to give a ruling on this question. B-- On the substance It follows from the wording and the general scheme of Article 12 Treaty that, in order to ascertain whether customs duties or charges equivalent of the having effect in the said have been increased contrary to the prohibition contained Article, regard must be had to the customs duties and charges the actually applied at date of the entry into force of the Treaty. Further, with regard to the prohibition in Article 12 of the Treaty, such an illegal increase may 14 arise from a re-arrangement of the tariff resulting in the VAN GEND EN LOOS v NEDERLANDSE ADMINISTRATE DER BELASTINGEN classification of the product under a more actual highly taxed heading and from an increase in the rate of customs duty. It is after of little importance how the increase in customs duties in the occurred when, the was Treaty entered into force, the same product same Member State subjected to a higher rate of duty. The application of Article 12, in accordance with the interpretation given above, comes within the jurisdiction of the national court which must enquire whether the dutiable product, in this of case ureaformaldehyde under originating in measures the Federal Republic Germany, 1 is charged with an the customs brought into force in with which the Netherlands import duty higher than that it was charged on January 1958. The Court has on no jurisdiction to check the validity of the conflicting views submitted to this subject which have been it during the proceedings but must leave them to be deterrnined by the national courts. IV -- Costs The costs incurred by the Commission of the EEC and the are Member States not which have submitted their observations to the Court recoverable, and as these proceedings are, a in so far as the parties to the main action are concerned, step in the action decision as to costs is a matter pending before for that court. the Tariefcommissie, the On those grounds, Upon reading Upon Upon the pleadings: hearing hearing the report of the Judge-Rapporteur; Advocate-General; the parties; the opinion of the to Upon hearing Having Having regard Articles 9, 12, 14, 169, 170 and 177 of the Treaty of establishing the European Economic regard to the Community; Statute of the Protocol on the Court of Justice the European Economic Community; Rules of Having regard to the Procedure of the Court of Justice of the European Communities; 15 OPINION OF MR ROEMER -- CASE 26/62 THE COURT in answer to the questions referred of to it for a preliminary ruling rules: by the Tariefcornmissie by 12 decision 16 August 1962, hereby the I. Article of the Treaty direct must establishing effects and European Economic rights Community which produces courts creates individual national protect. 2. In order to ascertain whether customs duties or charges having the equivalent effect have been increased contrary to 12 of the prohibition contained in Article the Treaty, regard must be had to duties at and charges actually applied by the Member State in question the date of the entry into force can of the a Treaty. re-arrangement of Such an increase arise both from of the tariff resulting in the taxed classification the product under rate of a more heading and from an increase in the customs highly duty applied. 3. The decision as to costs in these proceedings is a matter for the Tariefcommissie. Dormer Delvaux Rossi Riese Hammes Trabucchi Lecourt Delivered in open court in Luxembourg on 5 February 1963. A. Van Houtte Registrar A. M. Donner President OPINION OF MR ADVOCATE-GENERAL KARL ROEMER DELIVERED ON 12 DECEMBER 1962 1 Mr President, Members of the Court, The present proceedings originate the Nederlandse administratie der 1961 belas tingen (the Netherlands Inland Revenue Administration) in an a of 6 March of con cerning customs the application a particular action before the Tariefcommissie, court. of a duty to the the import of urea- Dutch is administrative This action of formaldehyde from of Federal Republic on for the annulment decision Germany. The decision is based 1 -- Translated from the German. 16 ...
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This note was uploaded on 02/05/2012 for the course 790 395 taught by Professor Tillery during the Fall '09 term at Rutgers.

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