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Document 61983CJ0077

Judgment of the Court (First Chamber) of 29 February 1984.
Srl CILFIT and others and Lanificio di Gavardo SpA v Ministero della sanità.
Reference for a preliminary ruling: Corte suprema di Cassazione - Italy.
Products listed in Annex II to the Treaty Wool.
Case 77/83.

European Court Reports 1984 -01257

ECLI identifier: ECLI:EU:C:1984:91

61983J0077

Judgment of the Court (First Chamber) of 29 February 1984. - Srl CILFIT and others and Lanificio di Gavardo SpA v Ministero della sanità. - Reference for a preliminary ruling: Corte suprema di Cassazione - Italy. - Products listed in Annex II to the Treaty Wool. - Case 77/83.

European Court reports 1984 Page 01257


Summary
Parties
Subject of the case
Grounds
Decision on costs
Operative part

Keywords


1 . AGRICULTURE - AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS - PRODUCTS LISTED IN ANNEX II TO THE TREATY - CONCEPTS - INTERPRETATION - REFERENCE TO THE COMMON CUSTOMS TARIFF

( EEC TREATY , ANNEX II )

2 . AGRICULTURE - COMMON ORGANIZATION OF THE MARKETS - PRODUCTS LISTED IN ANNEX II TO THE TREATY - REGULATION NO 827/68 - SCOPE - WOOL - EXCLUSION

( EEC TREATY , ANNEX II ; REGULATION NO 827/68 OF THE COUNCIL , ART . 1 AND ANNEX )

Summary


1 . SINCE THERE ARE NO COMMUNITY PROVISIONS EXPLAINING THE CONCEPTS CONTAINED IN ANNEX II TO THE TREATY AND THAT ANNEX ADOPTS WORD FOR WORD CERTAIN HEADINGS OF THE COMMON CUSTOMS TARIFF , IT IS APPROPRIATE TO REFER TO ESTABLISHED INTERPRETATIONS AND METHODS OF INTERPRETATION RELATING TO THE COMMON CUSTOMS TARIFF IN ORDER TO INTERPRET THE ANNEX .

2 . THE PHRASE ' ' EX 05.15 B : ANIMAL PRODUCTS NOT ELSEWHERE SPECIFIED OR INCLUDED ' ' APPEARING IN THE ANNEX TO REGULATION NO 827/68 OF THE COUNCIL ON THE COMMON ORGANIZATION OF THE MARKET IN CERTAIN PRODUCTS LISTED IN ANNEX II TO THE TREATY DOES NOT COVER WOOL .

Parties


IN CASE 77/83

REFERENCE TO THE COURT UNDER ARTICLE 177 OF THE EEC TREATY BY THE FIRST CIVIL DIVISION OF THE CORTE SUPREMA DI CASSAZIONE ( SUPREME COURT OF CASSATION ) FOR A PRELIMINARY RULING IN THE PROCEEDINGS PENDING BEFORE THAT COURT BETWEEN

SRL CILFIT IN LIQUIDATION , AND 54 OTHERS , ROME ,

AND

MINISTERO DELLA SANITA ( MINISTRY OF HEALTH ), ROME ,

AND

LANIFICIO DI GAVARDO SPA , MILAN ,

AND

MINISTERO DELLA SANITA , ROME ,

Subject of the case


ON THE INTERPRETATION OF REGULATION NO 827/68 ( EEC ) OF THE COUNCIL OF 28 JUNE 1968 ON THE COMMON ORGANIZATION OF THE MARKET IN CERTAIN PRODUCTS LISTED IN ANNEX II TO THE TREATY ( OFFICIAL JOURNAL , ENGLISH SPECIAL EDITION 1968 ( I ), P . 209 ),

Grounds


1 BY ORDER OF 22 FEBRUARY 1983 , RECEIVED AT THE COURT ON 3 MAY 1983 , THE CORTE SUPREMA DI CASSAZIONE REFERRED A QUESTION FOR A PRELIMINARY RULING UNDER ARTICLE 177 OF THE EEC TREATY ON THE INTERPRETATION OF REGULATION NO 827/68 OF THE COUNCIL OF 28 JUNE 1968 ON THE COMMON ORGANIZATION OF THE MARKET IN CERTAIN PRODUCTS LISTED IN ANNEX II TO THE TREATY .

2 THAT QUESTION WAS RAISED IN AN ACTION BROUGHT BY THE COMPANY CILFIT AND 54 OTHER COMPANIES , IMPORTERS OF WOOL , ESTABLISHED IN ITALY , FOR THE RECOVERY OF SUMS WHICH THEY HAD PAID IN RESPECT OF HEALTH-INSPECTION LEVIES . THE PLAINTIFFS IN THE MAIN ACTION MAINTAIN THAT THE ITALIAN LEGISLATION ON HEALTH-INSPECTION LEVIES COULD NOT APPLY TO IMPORTS OF WOOL FROM NON-MEMBER COUNTRIES SINCE SUCH GOODS WERE MADE SUBJECT TO A COMMON ORGANIZATION OF THE MARKET BY REGULATION NO 827/68 , ARTICLE 2 OF WHICH PROVIDES THAT IN TRADE WITH NON-MEMBER COUNTRIES THE LEVYING OF ANY CHARGE HAVING EFFECT EQUIVALENT TO A CUSTOMS DUTY IS PROHIBITED .

3 REGULATION NO 827/68 APPLIES , ACCORDING TO ARTICLE 1 THEREOF , TO THE PRODUCTS LISTED IN THE ANNEX THERETO . THEY INCLUDE ' ' EX 05.15 B ANIMAL PRODUCTS NOT ELSEWHERE SPECIFIED OR INCLUDED ' ' . THE NATIONAL COURT WISHES TO KNOW WHETHER WOOL COMES UNDER THAT CATEGORY OF PRODUCT .

4 THE RECITALS IN THE PREAMBLE TO REGULATION NO 827/68 STATE THAT A COMMON ORGANIZATION OF THE MARKET , INVOLVING A SPECIAL SYSTEM OF RULES , HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED FOR MANY OF THE PRODUCTS LISTED IN ANNEX II TO THE TREATY AND THAT APPROPRIATE PROVISIONS MUST ALSO BE ADOPTED , WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK OF THE COMMON ORGANIZATION OF THE MARKETS , SO AS TO PERMIT THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A SINGLE MARKET FOR ALL THE OTHER PRODUCTS LISTED IN THAT ANNEX .

5 IT FOLLOWS THAT THE OBJECT OF THE REGULATION IS TO ESTABLISH A COMMON ORGANIZATION OF THE MARKETS FOR PRODUCTS IN ANNEX II TO THE TREATY NOT YET GOVERNED BY OTHER COMMON ORGANIZATIONS . ANNEX II CONTAINS , ACCORDING TO ARTICLE 38 ( 3 ) OF THE TREATY , THE LIST OF PRODUCTS SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF ARTICLES 39 AND 46 OF THE TREATY RELATING TO THE COMMON AGRICULTURAL POLICY .

6 ALTHOUGH THEREFORE ARTICLE 1 OF THE REGULATION PROVIDES THAT THE COMMON ORGANIZATION ESTABLISHED BY THE REGULATION IS TO COVER THE PRODUCTS LISTED IN THE ANNEX THERETO AND ALTHOUGH THAT ANNEX CONTAINS , INTER ALIA , THE FOLLOWING DESCRIPTION : ' ' EX 05.15 B ANIMAL PRODUCTS NOT ELSEWHERE SPECIFIED OR INCLUDED ; DEAD ANIMALS OF CHAPTER I , UNFIT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION ' ' , THOSE WORDS CANNOT HAVE A MEANING DIFFERENT FROM THAT WHICH THEY HAVE IN ANNEX II TO THE TREATY WHICH ALSO CONTAINS THEM .

7 SINCE THERE ARE NO COMMUNITY PROVISIONS EXPLAINING THE CONCEPTS CONTAINED IN ANNEX II TO THE TREATY AND THAT ANNEX ADOPTS WORD FOR WORD CERTAIN HEADINGS OF THE COMMON CUSTOMS TARIFF , IT IS APPROPRIATE TO REFER TO THE ESTABLISHED INTERPRETATIONS AND METHODS OF INTERPRETATION RELATING TO THE COMMON CUSTOMS TARIFF IN ORDER TO INTERPRET THE ANNEX . ANNEX II ITSELF REFERS MOREOVER TO THE HEADINGS AND SUBHEADINGS OF THE TARIFF TO IDENTIFY THE PRODUCTS LISTED .

8 CHAPTER V OF THE COMMON CUSTOMS TARIFF , WHICH INCLUDES THE SUBHEADING , 05.15 B , AT ISSUE IN THIS CASE , FORMS PART OF SECTION I OF THE TARIFF , LIVE ANIMALS , ANIMAL PRODUCTS , WHICH COVERS INTER ALIA LIVE ANIMALS , MEAT , FISH , CRUSTACEANS AND MOLLUSCS , MILK AND DAIRY PRODUCTS AND ' ' PRODUCTS OF ANIMAL ORIGIN , NOT ELSEWHERE SPECIFIED OR INCLUDED ' ' ; THE LATTER FALL UNDER CHAPTER 5 WHICH INCLUDES INTER ALIA HUMAN HAIR , FISH WASTE , IVORY AND NATURAL SPONGES . WOOL IS THE SUBJECT OF CHAPTER 53 , ' ' WOOL AND OTHER ANIMAL HAIR ' ' , WHICH COMES UNDER SECTION XI ' ' TEXTILES AND TEXTILE ARTICLES ' ' .

9 TO EXCLUDE ALL RISK OF MISUNDERSTANDING ABOUT THE TARIFF CLASSIFICATION OF WOOL NOTE 1 TO CHAPTER 5 PROVIDES THAT THE CHAPTER DOES NOT COVER ' ' ANIMAL TEXTILE MATERIALS , OTHER THAN HORSEHAIR AND HORSEHAIR WASTE ( SECTION XI ) ' ' .

10 ACCORDINGLY SUBHEADING 05.15 B OF THE COMMON CUSTOMS TARIFF DOES NOT INCLUDE WOOL WHICH THEREFORE CANNOT BE REFERRED TO BY THE EXPRESSION ' ' EX 05.15 B ANIMAL PRODUCTS NOT ELSEWHERE SPECIFIED OR INCLUDED ' ' IN ANNEX II TO THE TREATY AND THE ANNEX TO REGULATION NO 827/68 .

11 THE PLAINTIFFS IN THE MAIN ACTION POINTED OUT THAT AN INTERPRETATION WHICH WOULD RESULT IN EXCLUDING WOOL FROM THE SCOPE OF ANNEX II AND THUS FROM ARTICLES 39 TO 46 OF THE TREATY ENTAILS THE RISK OF DISREGARDING THE SCOPE OF ARTICLE 38 ( 1 ) OF THE TREATY ACCORDING TO WHICH THE COMMON MARKET EXTENDS TO AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS , THAT IS PRODUCTS OF THE SOIL , OF STOCK FARMING AND OF FISHERIES AND PRODUCTS OF FIRST-STAGE PROCESSING DIRECTLY RELATED TO THESE PRODUCTS . WOOL UNDOUBTEDLY COMES UNDER THE LATTER CATEGORY , WHICH MEANS THAT THE AGRICULTURAL REGULATIONS MUST BE INTERPRETED IN SUCH A MANNER AS TO INCLUDE WOOL IN THE COMMON ORGANIZATIONS OF THE MARKETS .

12 THE ITALIAN GOVERNMENT AND THE COMMISSION HAVE NEVERTHELESS RIGHTLY CONTENDED THAT ALTHOUGH ARTICLE 38 ( 1 ) GIVES A GENERAL DEFINITION OF THE TERM ' ' AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS ' ' ARTICLE 38 ( 3 ) EXPRESSLY PROVIDES THAT THE PROVISIONS OF THE TREATY RELATING TO THE COMMON AGRICULTURAL POLICY APPLY TO THE PRODUCTS LISTED IN ANNEX II TO THE TREATY . WITHIN TWO YEARS OF THE ENTRY INTO FORCE OF THE TREATY , HOWEVER , THE COUNCIL COULD DECIDE WHAT PRODUCTS WERE TO BE ADDED TO THAT LIST ; IN DOING SO THE COUNCIL HAD TO KEEP WITHIN THE SCOPE OF THE GENERAL DEFINITION OF AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS CONTAINED IN ARTICLE 38 ( 1 ).

13 THE QUESTION ASKED MUST THEREFORE BE ANSWERED TO THE EFFECT THAT THE PHRASE ' ' EX 05.15 B ANIMAL PRODUCTS NOT ELSEWHERE SPECIFIED OR INCLUDED ' ' CONTAINED IN THE ANNEX TO REGULATION NO 872/68 DOES NOT COVER WOOL .

Decision on costs


COSTS

14 THE COSTS INCURRED BY THE GOVERNMENT OF THE ITALIAN REPUBLIC AND BY THE COMMISSION OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES , WHICH HAVE SUBMITTED OBSERVATIONS TO THE COURT , ARE NOT RECOVERABLE . AS THESE PROCEEDINGS ARE , IN SO FAR AS THE PARTIES TO THE MAIN ACTION ARE CONCERNED , IN THE NATURE OF A STEP IN THE ACTION PENDING BEFORE THE NATIONAL COURT , THE DECISION ON COSTS IS A MATTER FOR THAT COURT .

Operative part


ON THOSE GROUNDS ,

THE COURT ( FIRST CHAMBER ),

IN ANSWER TO THE QUESTION REFERRED TO IT BY THE CORTE SUPREMA DI CASSAZIONE BY ORDER OF 22 FEBRUARY 1983 , HEREBY RULES :

THE PHRASE ' ' EX 05.15 B , ANIMAL PRODUCTS NOT ELSEWHERE SPECIFIED OR INCLUDED ' ' CONTAINED IN THE ANNEX TO REGULATION NO 827/68 OF THE COUNCIL OF 28 JUNE 1968 ON THE COMMON ORGANIZATION OF THE MARKET IN CERTAIN PRODUCTS LISTED IN ANNEX II TO THE TREATY DOES NOT COVER WOOL .

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