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Document 62006CJ0411

Summary of the Judgment

Judgment of the Court (Grand Chamber) of 8 September 2009.
Commission of the European Communities v European Parliament and Council of the European Union.
Action for annulment - Regulation (EC) No 1013/2006 - Shipments of waste - Choice of legal basis - Articles 133 EC and 175(1) EC.
Case C-411/06.



1. Acts of the institutions – Choice of legal basis – Criteria

(Art. 175(1), EC; European Parliament and Council Regulation No 1013/2006)

2. Environment – Regulation on shipments of waste – Instrument falling principally under protection of human health and of the environment

(Art. 133 EC and 175(1) EC; European Parliament and Council Regulation No 1013/2006)


1. The choice of legal basis for a Community measure must rest on objective factors amenable to judicial review, including in particular the aim and the content of the measure.

If examination of a Community measure reveals that it pursues a twofold purpose or that it has a twofold component and if one of those is identifiable as the main or predominant purpose or component, whereas the other is merely incidental, the act must be based on a single legal basis, namely, that required by the main or predominant purpose or component. Exceptionally, if on the other hand it is established that the act simultaneously pursues a number of objectives or has several components that are indissociably linked, without one being secondary and indirect in relation to the other, such an act will have to be founded on the various corresponding legal bases. This is not the case with respect to Regulation No 1013/2006 on shipments of waste, which pursues the objective of protection of the environment and which, consequently, was validly founded on Article 175(1) EC. It is necessary to examine whether the objective and components of that regulation relating to the protection of the environment must be regarded as being the main or predominant objective and component.

(see paras 45-50)

2. It is evident from the analysis of Regulation No 1013/2006 on shipments of waste that, both by its objective and content, it is aimed primarily at protecting human health and the environment against the potentially adverse effects of cross-border shipments of waste. More specifically, in so far as the prior written notification and consent procedure clearly pursues an environmental protection purpose in the field of shipments of waste between the Member States and, consequently, was correctly based on Article 175(1) EC, it would not be coherent to consider that that same procedure, when it applies to shipments of waste between Member States and third countries with the same environmental protection objective, as confirmed by recital 33 in the preamble to that regulation, is in the nature of an instrument of common commercial policy and must, on that ground, be based on Article 133 EC. That conclusion is corroborated by an analysis of the legislative context of that regulation.

A broad interpretation of the concept of common commercial policy is not such as to call into question the finding that the contested regulation is an instrument falling principally under environmental protection policy. Thus, a Community act may fall within that area, even when the measures provided for by that act are liable to affect trade.

A Community act falls within the exclusive competence in the field of the common commercial policy provided for in Article 133 EC only if it relates specifically to international trade in that it is essentially intended to promote, facilitate or govern trade and has direct and immediate effects on trade in the products concerned.

That is clearly not the situation in the present case. The aim of Regulation No 1013/2006 is not to define those characteristics of waste which will enable it to circulate freely within the internal market or as part of commercial trade with third countries, but to provide a harmonised set of procedures whereby movements of waste can be limited in order to secure protection of the environment.

(see paras 62-64, 70-72)