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Document 61970CJ0025

Summary of the Judgment

Judgment of the Court of 17 December 1970.
Einfuhr- und Vorratsstelle für Getreide und Futtermittel v Köster and Berodt & Co.
Reference for a preliminary ruling: Hessischer Verwaltungsgerichtshof - Germany.
Case 25-70.

Keywords
Summary

Keywords

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1 . AGRICULTURE - COMMON AGRICULTURAL POLICY - COMMUNITY REGULATIONS - PROCEDURE FOR ADOPTION - DISTINCTION BETWEEN THE BASIC RULES AND THE IMPLEMENTING PROVISIONS

( EEC TREATY, ARTICLES 43 AND 155 )

2 . AGRICULTURE - COMMON ORGANIZATION OF THE MARKETS - CEREALS - MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE - LEGALITY

( REGULATION NO 19 OF THE COUNCIL, ARTICLES 25 AND 26 )

3 . AGRICULTURE - COMMON ORGANIZATION OF THE MARKETS - CEREALS - IMPORT LICENCES - SYSTEM OF DEPOSITS - EXTENSION BY REGULATION OF THE COMMISSION TO EXPORTS AND PROCESSED PRODUCTS - LEGALITY

( REGULATION NO 19 OF THE COUNCIL, ARTICLE 16; REGULATION NO 120/64 OF THE COMMISSION )

4 . COMMUNITY LAW - GENERAL PRINCIPLES - FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS - PROTECTION BY THE COURT

5 . AGRICULTURE - COMMON ORGANIZATION OF THE MARKETS - IMPORT AND EXPORT LICENCES GUARANTEED BY A DEPOSIT - NECESSARY AND APPROPRIATE NATURE OF THAT SYSTEM - ABSENCE OF VIOLATION OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS

( EEC TREATY, ARTICLES 40 AND 43 )

6 . AGRICULTURE - COMMON ORGANIZATION OF THE MARKETS - IMPORT AND EXPORT LICENCES - PERIOD OF VALIDITY - EXPIRATION OF SUCH PERIOD - CASE OF FORCE MAJEURE - CONCEPT

7 . AGRICULTURE - COMMON ORGANIZATION OF THE MARKETS - IMPORT AND EXPORT LICENCES - CANCELLATION OF THE UNDERTAKING TO IMPORT OR EXPORT - LIMITATION TO CASES OF FORCE MAJEURE - PERMISSIBILITY

Summary

1 . THE THIRD SUBPARAGRAPH OF ARTICLE 43 ( 2 ) IS COMPLIED WITH WHEN THE BASIC ELEMENTS OF THE REGULATIONS CONCERNING THE COMMON AGRICULTURAL POLICY ARE ADOPTED BY THE COUNCIL IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROCEDURE LAID DOWN BY ARTICLE 43 . ON THE OTHER HAND, THE PROVISIONS IMPLEMENTING THE BASIC REGULATIONS MAY BE ADOPTED ACCORDING TO A PROCEDURE DIFFERENT FROM THAT IN ARTICLE 43, EITHER BY THE COUNCIL ITSELF OR BY THE COMMISSION BY VIRTUE OF AN AUTHORIZATION COMPLYING WITH ARTICLE 155 .

2 . WITHOUT DISTORTING THE COMMUNITY STRUCTURE AND THE INSTITUTIONAL BALANCE, THE MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE MACHINERY ENABLES THE COUNCIL TO DELEGATE TO THE COMMISSION AN IMPLEMENTING POWER OF APPRECIABLE SCOPE, SUBJECT TO ITS POWER TO TAKE THE DECISION ITSELF IF NECESSARY . THE LEGALITY OF THE MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE PROCEDURE, AS ESTABLISHED BY ARTICLES 25 AND 26 OF REGULATION NO 19, CANNOT THEREFORE BE DISPUTED IN THE CONTEXT OF THE INSTITUTIONAL STRUCTURE OF THE COMMUNITY .

3 . IN THE LIGHT OF THE SCHEME AND OBJECTIVES OF ARTICLE 16 ( 3 ) OF REGULATION NO 19, THE COMMISSION WAS AUTHORIZED TO INCLUDE IN REGULATION NO 102/64, AS REGARDS EXPORT LICENCES, THE PROVISIONS RELATING TO THE OBLIGATION TO EXPORT AND TO THE DEPOSIT, WHICH FORM THE SUBJECT-MATTER OF ARTICLES 1 AND 7, ALL BEING PROVISIONS INTENDED TO SUPPLEMENT THE PARTIAL MEASURES LAID DOWN IN THE SAID ARTICLE 16 .

4 . RESPECT FOR FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS FORMS AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF LAW PROTECTED BY THE COURT OF JUSTICE .

5 . THE REQUIREMENT BY THE AGRICULTURAL REGULATIONS OF THE COMMUNITY OF IMPORT AND EXPORT LICENCES INVOLVING FOR THE LICENCEES AN UNDERTAKING TO EFFECT THE PROPOSED TRANSACTIONS UNDER THE GUARANTEE OF A DEPOSIT CONSTITUTES A METHOD WHICH IS BOTH NECESSARY AND APPROPRIATE, FOR THE PURPOSES OF ARTICLES 40 ( 3 ) AND 43 OF THE EEC TREATY, TO ENABLE THE COMPETENT AUTHORITIES TO DETERMINE IN THE MOST EFFECTIVE MANNER THEIR INTERVENTIONS ON THE MARKET IN CEREALS . THE SYSTEM OF DEPOSITS VIOLATES NO FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT .

6 . THE CONCEPT OF FORCE MAJEURE ADOPTED BY THE AGRICULTURAL REGULATIONS IS NOT LIMITED TO ABSOLUTE IMPOSSIBILITY BUT MUST BE UNDERSTOOD IN THE SENSE OF UNUSUAL CIRCUMSTANCES, OUTSIDE THE CONTROL OF THE IMPORTER OR EXPORTER, THE CONSEQUENCES OF WHICH, IN SPITE OF THE EXERCISE OF ALL DUE CARE, COULD NOT HAVE BEEN AVOIDED EXCEPT AT THE COST OF EXCESSIVE SACRIFICE . ( JUDGMENT OF 11 JULY 1968, CASE 4/68, REC . 1968, P . 563 .)

7 . BY LIMITING THE CANCELLATION OF THE UNDERTAKING TO EXPORT AND THE RELEASE OF THE DEPOSIT TO CASES OF FORCE MAJEURE THE COMMUNITY LEGISLATURE ADOPTED A PROVISION WHICH, WITHOUT IMPOSING AN UNDUE BURDEN ON IMPORTERS OR EXPORTERS, IS APPROPRIATE FOR ENSURING THE NORMAL FUNCTIONING OF THE ORGANIZATION OF THE MARKET IN CEREALS, IN THE GENERAL INTEREST AS DEFINED IN ARTICLE 39 OF THE TREATY .

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