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Document 62009CN0363

Case C-363/09: Action brought on 11 September 2009 — Commission of the European Communities v Kingdom of Spain

OJ C 267, 7.11.2009, p. 48–48 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)



Official Journal of the European Union

C 267/48

Action brought on 11 September 2009 — Commission of the European Communities v Kingdom of Spain

(Case C-363/09)

2009/C 267/80

Language of the case: Spanish


Applicant: Commission of the European Communities (represented by: L. Parpala and F. Jimeno Fernández, acting as Agents)

Defendant: Kingdom of Spain

Form of order sought

Declare that by maintaining in force Article 38 of Law 43/2002 of 20 November 2002 on plant health, the Kingdom of Spain has failed to fulfil its obligations under Article 13 of Directive 91/414/EEC (1)

order the Kingdom of Spain to pay the costs.

Pleas in law and main arguments

Directive 91/414/EEC responds to the need to harmonise the provisions of national law relating to the marketing of plant protection products. For that purpose it lays down uniform rules on the conditions and procedures for the authorization of such products.

Article 13 of that Directive sets out the rules relating to (i) the data which must be submitted by applicants for the authorisation of a particular plant protection product and (ii) the use and protection of that data, safeguarding, apart from specified exceptions, the confidentiality of that data.

The Directive is a complete harmonisation and, consequently, a Member State cannot adopt legislation at national level which requires economic operators to share data submitted by the first applicant for authorisation, except on the conditions laid down in Article 13(7).

Nevertheless, Article 38 of Law 43/2002 permits access to data obtained from studies and experiments in circumstances other than those expressly provided in the Directive.

The Commission considers that since the Kingdom of Spain has no discretion in relation to the transposition into national law of Article 13 of Directive 91/414/EEC and since it has not brought an action for the annulment of that provision, the introduction of an exception to the rules relating to access to data accompanying an application for authorisation of plant protection products, when that exception is not provided for in the Directive concerned, is an infringement of Community law.

(1)  Council Directive 91/414/EEC of 15 July 1991 concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market (OJ L 230, p. 1)