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Document 61983CJ0133

Judgment of the Court (Fourth Chamber) of 11 July 1984.
Regina v Thomas Scott & Sons Bakers Limited and Brian Rimmer.
Reference for a preliminary ruling: House of Lords - United Kingdom.
Social legislation relating to road transport - Specialized vehicles for door-to-door selling.
Case 133/83.

European Court Reports 1984 -02863

ECLI identifier: ECLI:EU:C:1984:264

61983J0133

Judgment of the Court (Fourth Chamber) of 11 July 1984. - Regina v Thomas Scott & Sons Bakers Limited and Brian Rimmer. - Reference for a preliminary ruling: House of Lords - United Kingdom. - Social legislation relating to road transport - Specialized vehicles for door-to-door selling. - Case 133/83.

European Court reports 1984 Page 02863


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

Keywords


TRANSPORT - ROAD TRANSPORT - SOCIAL LEGISLATION - DEROGATIONS - SPECIALIZED VEHICLES FOR DOOR-TO-DOOR SELLING - CONCEPTS OF ' ' SPECIALIZED VEHICLE ' ' AND ' ' DOOR-TO-DOOR SELLING ' '

( REGULATION NO 543/69 OF THE COUNCIL , ART . 14A ( 3 ) ( A ), AS AMENDED BY REGULATIONS NOS 515/72 AND 2827/77 )

Summary


1 . THE TERM ' ' SPECIALIZED VEHICLE ' ' FOR CERTAIN TYPES OF TRANSPORT OPERATIONS WITHIN THE MEANING OF ARTICLE 14A ( 3 ) ( A ) OF REGULATION NO 543/69 OF THE COUNCIL ON THE HARMONIZATION OF CERTAIN SOCIAL LEGISLATION RELATING TO ROAD TRANSPORT AS AMENDED BY REGULATIONS NOS 515/72 AND 2827/77 , IS INTENDED TO COVER EXCLUSIVELY VEHICLES WHOSE CONSTRUCTION , FITMENTS OR OTHER PERMANENT CHARACTERISTICS GUARANTEE THAT THEY ARE USED PRIMARILY FOR ONE OF THOSE OPERATIONS , SUCH AS DOOR-TO-DOOR SELLING .

2 . THE ACTIVITY OF ' ' DOOR-TO DOOR SELLING ' ' WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE AFOREMENTIONED ARTICLE 14A ( 3 ) ( A ) MAY CONSIST OF CALLS ON POTENTIAL WHOLESALE CUSTOMERS , SUCH AS SHOPS , WORKS CANTEENS , OLD-PEOPLE ' S HOMES OR SUPERMARKETS PROVIDED THAT THE ACTIVITY OF SELLING IS CHARACTERIZED BY FREQUENT STOPS BY THE SPECIALIZED VEHICLE .

Parties


IN CASE 133/83

REFERENCE TO THE COURT UNDER ARTICLE 177 OF THE EEC TREATY BY THE HOUSE OF LORDS FOR A PRELIMINARY RULING IN THE PROCEEDINGS PENDING BEFORE THAT COURT BETWEEN

REGINA

AND

THOMAS SCOTT & SONS BAKERS LIMITED AND BRIAN RIMMER

Subject of the case


ON THE INTERPRETATION OF ARTICLE 14A ( 3 ) ( A ) OF REGULATION ( EEC ) NO 543/69 OF THE COUNCIL OF 25 MARCH 1969 ON THE HARMONIZATION OF CERTAIN SOCIAL LEGISLATION RELATING TO ROAD TRANSPORT ( OFFICIAL JOURNAL , ENGLISH SPECIAL EDITION 1969 ( I ), P . 170 ), AS AMENDED BY COUNCIL REGULATION ( EEC ) NO 2827/77 OF 12 DECEMBER 1977 ( OFFICIAL JOURNAL 1977 L 334 , P . 1 ),

Grounds


1 BY ORDER OF 23 JUNE 1983 , WHICH WAS RECEIVED AT THE COURT ON 11 JULY 1983 , THE HOUSE OF LORDS REFERRED TO THE COURT FOR A PRELIMINARY RULING PURSUANT TO ARTICLE 177 OF THE EEC TREATY SEVERAL QUESTIONS RELATING TO THE INTERPRETATION OF ARTICLE 14A ( 3 ) ( A ) OF REGULATION ( EEC ) NO 543/69 OF THE COUNCIL OF 25 MARCH 1969 ON THE HARMONIZATION OF CERTAIN SOCIAL LEGISLATION RELATING TO ROAD TRANSPORT ( OFFICIAL JOURNAL , ENGLISH SPECIAL EDITION 1969 ( I ), P . 170 ), AS AMENDED BY REGULATION ( EEC ) NO 515/72 OF THE COUNCIL OF 28 FEBRUARY 1972 ( OFFICIAL JOURNAL , ENGLISH SPECIAL EDITION 1969 ( I ), P . 170 ), AS AMENDED BY REGULATION ( EEC ) NO 515/72 OF THE COUNCIL OF 28 FEBRUARY 1972 ( OFFICIAL JOURNAL , ENGLISH SPECIAL EDITION 1972 ( I ), P . 134 ) AND BY COUNCIL REGULATION ( EEC ) NO 2827/77 OF 12 DECEMBER 1977 ( OFFICIAL JOURNAL 1977 L 334 , P . 1 ).

2 THE QUESTIONS AROSE IN CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS AGAINST THOMAS SCOTT & SONS BAKERS LIMITED , A BAKERY UNDERTAKING WHICH OWNS AND OPERATES SEVERAL BREAD DELIVERY VANS , AND AGAINST ONE OF ITS EMPLOYEES , BRIAN RIMMER , WHO WERE CHARGED WITH USING A VEHICLE HAVING A PERMISSIBLE MAXIMUM WEIGHT EXCEEDING 3.5 TONNES IN WHICH TACHOGRAPH RECORDING EQUIPMENT HAD NOT BEEN INSTALLED . MR . RIMMER , WHO WAS DRIVING THE VEHICLE IN QUESTION FOR THE PURPOSE OF SELLING HIS EMPLOYER ' S BAKERY PRODUCTS , WAS ALSO CHARGED WITH MAKING FALSE ENTRIES IN THE INDIVIDUAL CONTROL BOOK .

3 IN CONNECTION WITH THE HARMONIZATION OF SOCIAL LEGISLATION RELATING TO ROAD TRANSPORT , REGULATION NO 543/69 CONTAINS PROVISIONS CONCERNING THE MANNING OF CERTAIN VEHICLES OF MORE THAN 3.5 TONNES USED IN THE CARRIAGE OF GOODS BY ROAD ( ARTICLES 5 AND 6 ), LIMITING DRIVING PERIODS ( ARTICLES 7 TO 10 ) AND SEPECIFYING DAILY AND WEEKLY REST PERIODS ( ARTICLES 11 AND 12 ).

4 IN ORDER TO ENSURE COMPLIANCE WITH THOSE PROVISIONS , CONTROL PROCEDURES ARE PROVIDED FOR ; THE PROCEDURES DIFFER ACCORDING TO WHETHER OR NOT THE VEHICLE IS ASSIGNED TO A REGULAR SERVICE . IN THE CASE OF A VEHICLE NOT ASSIGNED TO A REGULAR SERVICE , ARTICLE 14 ( 1 ) OF THE REGULATION PROVIDES THAT CREW MEMBERS ARE TO CARRY AN INDIVIDUAL CONTROL BOOK . HOWEVER , THE INDIVIDUAL CONTROL BOOK HAS PROGRESSIVELY BEEN REPLACED BY A MONITORING DEVICE KNOWN AS A ' ' TACHOGRAPH ' ' , THE INSTALLATION OF WHICH IN VEHICLES USED IN THE TRANSPORTATION BY ROAD OF PASSENGERS OR GOODS WAS MADE OBLIGATORY BY REGULATION ( EEC ) NO 1463/70 OF THE COUNCIL OF 20 JUNE 1970 ON THE INTRODUCTION OF RECORDING EQUIPMENT IN ROAD TRANSPORT ( OFFICIAL JOURNAL , ENGLISH SPECIAL EDITION 1970 ( II ). P . 482 ). THE DEVICE AUTOMATICALLY RECORDS THE PERIODS DURING WHICH THE VEHICLE IS TRAVELLING OR STATIONARY , TOGETHER WITH THE SPEED OF TRAVEL .

5 REGULATION NO 515/72 INSERTED INTO REGULATION NO 543/69 A NEW ARTICLE , 14A , TO WHICH REGULATION NO 2827/77 ADDED FURTHER PARAGRAPHS ; ARTICLE 14A ( 3 ) PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS :

' ' MEMBER STATES MAY , AFTER AUTHORIZATION BY THE COMMISSION , GRANT EXEMPTIONS FROM THIS REGULATION FOR THE FOLLOWING NATIONAL TRANSPORT OPERATIONS AND USES :

( A ) USE OF SPECIALIZED VEHICLES AT LOCAL MARKETS , FOR DOOR-TO-DOOR SELLING , FOR MOBILE BANKING , EXCHANGE OR SAVINGS TRANSACTIONS , FOR PURPOSES OF WORSHIP , FOR THE LENDING OF BOOKS , RECORDS OR CASSETTES , FOR CULTURAL EVENTS OR MOBILE EXHIBITIONS ;

( B)TRANSPORT OF MILK FROM THE FARM TO THE DAIRY AND VICE VERSA .

. . . ' '

6 REGULATION NO 1463/70 WAS AMENDED BY COUNCIL REGULATION ( EEC ) NO 2828/77 OF 12 DECEMBER 1977 ( OFFICIAL JOURNAL 1977 L 334 , P . 5 ), WHICH INTER ALIA ADDED TO ARTICLE 3 OF THE FORMER REGULATION A THIRD PARAGRAPH ACCORDING TO WHICH ' ' MEMBER STATES MAY , AFTER AUTHORIZATION FROM THE COMMISSION , EXEMPT FROM THE APPLICATION OF THIS REGULATION VEHICLES MENTIONED IN ARTICLE 14A ( 3 ) ( A ) OF REGULATION ( EEC ) NO 543/69 ' ' .

7 THE UNITED KINGDOM AVAILED ITSELF OF THE POSSIBILITY OF PROVIDING FOR SUCH DEROGATION WHEN IT INTRODUCED THE COMMUNITY ROAD TRANSPORT RULES ( EXEMPTIONS ) REGULATIONS 1978 , OF WHICH REGULATION NO 4 PROVIDES INTER ALIA THAT REGULATIONS NOS 543/69 AND 1463/70 ARE NOT TO APPLY TO NATIONAL TRANSPORT OPERATIONS INVOLVING ' ' THE USE OF SPECIALIZED VEHICLES . . . FOR DOOR-TO-DOOR SELLING ' ' .

8 THE DEFENDANTS CONTENDED BEFORE THE NATIONAL COURT THAT THE EQUIPMENT OF THE VEHICLE IN QUESTION WAS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF BAKERY PRODUCTS AND THAT WHILST THE DRIVER DID NOT CALL ON CUSTOMERS METHODICALLY AT THEIR HOMES , HE DID CALL , FOR THE PURPOSE OF SELLING HIS PRODUCTS , WITHIN A RELATIVELY SMALL LOCALITY ON A NUMBER OF WHOLESALE AND RETAIL CUSTOMERS SUCH AS SUPERMARKETS , WORKS CANTEENS , PRIVATE HOUSES AND AN OLD-PEOPLE ' S HOME . HAVING REGARD TO ITS SPECIAL FITTINGS AND THE USE TO WHICH IT WAS PUT IN THIS CASE , THE VEHICLE CAME WITHIN THE EXEMPTION PROVIDED FOR BY THE AFOREMENTIONED NATIONAL LEGISLATION AND THE RELEVANT COMMUNITY RULES .

9 THAT IS THE CONTEXT IN WHICH THE HOUSE OF LORDS REFERRED THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS TO THE COURT FOR A PRELIMINARY RULING :

' ' ( 1 ) WHETHER , UPON THE TRUE INTERPRETATION OF THE EXEMPTION IN ARTICLE 14A ( 3 ) ( A ) OF REGULATION NO 543/69 OF THE COUNCIL , THE WORD ' SPECIALIZED ' IS MEANT TO APPLY TO THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE PARTICULAR VEHICLE ALONE , OR TO THE ACITIVITY OF DOOR-TO-DOOR SELLING ALONE , OR TO A COMBINATION OF BOTH : AND IF THE LATTER INTERPRETATION IS CORRECT , WHAT DEGREE OF INTERRELATION IS MEANT ;

( 2)WHETHER UPON THE TRUE INTERPRETATION OF THE SAME EXEMPTION PROVISIONS , THE ACTIVITY OF DOOR-TO-DOOR SELLING IS MEANT TO APPLY ONLY TO A METHODICAL CALLING AT ONE HOUSE AFTER ANOTHER FOR THE PURPOSE OF SELLING TO THE ULTIMATE CONSUMER ; OR WHETHER IT APPLIES TO A NUMBER OF CALLS TO POTENTIAL WHOLESALE CUSTOMERS , SUCH AS SHOPS , CANTEENS , OLD-PEOPLE ' S HOMES , OR SUPERMARKETS FOR THE PURPOSE OF SELLING , AND WHERE THE DRIVER SPENDS A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF TIME SELLING OR WHETHER IT MAY APPLY TO A COMBINATION OF BOTH AND IF THE LATTER INTERPRETATION IS CORRECT , WHAT DEGREE OF INTERRELATION IS MEANT ;

( 3)WHAT IS THE PROPER CONSTRUCTION TO BE PUT UPON THE WORD ' SPECIALIZED ' IN THE CONTEXT OF ARTICLE 14A ( 3 ) ( A ) OF THE REGULATION . ' '

THE FIRST AND THIRD QUESTIONS

10 SINCE BOTH THE FIRST AND THIRD QUESTIONS ARE CONCERNED WITH THE INTERPRETATION OF THE WORD ' ' SPECIALIZED ' ' IN ARTICLE 14A ( 3 ) ( A ) OF REGULATION NO 543/69 , THEY MAY BE CONSIDERED TOGETHER .

11 THE TWO QUESTIONS RAISE THE ISSUE WHETHER THE SPECIALIZATION REFERRED TO BY THAT EXEMPTION RELATES TO THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE VEHICLE , OR TO THE USE TO WHICH IT IS PUT OR TO A COMBINATION OF BOTH FACTORS .

12 THE DEFENDANTS IN THE MAIN PROCEEDINGS , RELYING IN PARTICULAR ON THE ENGLISH-LANGUAGE VERSION OF THE PROVISION AT ISSUE , MAINTAIN THAT IN ORDER TO QUALIFY FOR EXEMPTION A VEHICLE MUST BE SPECIALIZED WITH REGARD TO A GIVEN TYPE OF TRANSPORT OPERATION , FOR EXAMPLE THE TRANSPORTATION OF BAKERY PRODUCTS , AND THAT THERE IS NO NECESSITY FOR THE REQUIREMENT OF SPECIALIZATION TO BE LINKED TO THE USE TO WHICH THE VEHICLE IN QUESTION IS PUT . THE QUESTION WHETHER OR NOT A VEHICLE THAT IS SPECIALIZED IN SUCH A MANNER IS ACTUALLY USED FOR THE PURPOSE IN RESPECT OF WHICH EXEMPTION WAS GRANTED IS A COMPLETELY SEPARATE QUESTION WHICH MUST BE CONSIDERED ON ITS OWN MERITS .

13 IN THAT CONNECTION THE UNITED KINGDOM , THE GOVERNMENT OF THE FRENCH REPUBLIC AND THE COMMISSION CONTEND THAT THE SPECIALIZATION OF A VEHICLE MUST BE LINKED TO THE USE IN RESPECT OF WHICH THE EXEMPTION IN QUESTION IS GRANTED , THAT IS TO SAY IN THIS CASE TO DOOR-TO-DOOR SELLING .

14 WITH REGARD TO THE DEGREE OF SPECIALIZATION , THE UNITED KINGDOM EXPRESSES THE OPINION THAT ANY VEHICLE WHICH HAS BEEN CONSTRUCTED OR ADAPTED IN SOME WAY IN ORDER TO BE USED IN AN EXEMPT MANNER QUALIFIES FOR EXEMPTION PROVIDED THAT IT IS IN FACT USED IN THAT MANNER . THE GOVERNMENT OF THE FRENCH REPUBLIC AND THE COMMISSION , FOR THEIR PART , POINT OUT THAT THE VEHICLE ' S FITMENTS MUST BE PERMANENT SO THAT THE VEHICLE CANNOT BE USED FOR A TRANSPORT OPERATION NOT FALLING WITHIN THE EXEMPTION . OTHERWISE IT WOULD BE DIFFICULT TO VERIFY WHETHER TRANSPORT OPERATIONS ARE LIMITED TO THE TYPES ENVISAGED BY ARTICLE 14A ( 3 ) ( A ) OF REGULATION NO 543/69 . CONSEQUENTLY , THEY ARGUE THAT A VEHICLE WHICH , AS IN THIS CASE , IS MERELY MODIFIED , IN A MANNER THAT IS NOT PERMANENT , FOR THE CARRYING OF BAKERY PRODUCTS DOES NOT POSSESS THE NECESSARY CHARACTERISTICS TO BE REGARDED AS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR DOOR-TO-DOOR SELLING .

15 IT MUST BE POINTED OUT IN THE FIRST PLACE THAT ARTICLE 14A ( 3 ) ( A ) DEROGATES FROM THE GENERAL ARRANGEMENTS ESTABLISHED BY REGULATION NO 543/69 OF THE COUNCIL RELATING TO ROAD TRANSPORT . ITS SCOPE MUST THEREFORE BE DETERMINED , AS THE COURT AS STATED ON MANY OCCASIONS AND IN PARTICULAR IN ITS JUDGMENT OF 6 DECEMBER 1979 ( CAS 47/79 STADTEREINIGUNG K . NEHLSEN V FREIE HANSESTADT BREMEN ( 1979 ) ECR 3639 ), WITH REGARD TO THE OBJECTIVES OF THAT REGULATION AND TO THE LEGAL CONTEXT IN WHICH IT IS SITUATED .

16 IT IS APPARENT FROM THE RECITALS IN THE PREAMBLE TO REGULATION NO 543/69 AND FROM THOSE IN THE PREAMBLE TO REGULATIONS NOS 515/72 AND 2827/77 , WHICH AMENDED IT , THAT , IN THE CONTEXT OF THE HARMONIZATION OF NATIONAL LEGISLATION , THE COMMUNITY RULES PURSUE THREE OBJECTIVES SIMULTANEOUSLY , NAMELY THE SOCIAL PROTECTION OF DRIVERS , THE IMPROVEMENT OF ROAD SAFETY AND THE ELIMINATION OF DISPARITIES LIABLE TO CAUSE DISTORTION IN COMPETITION IN THE ROAD TRANSPORT SECTOR . IT WAS WITH REGARD TO THOSE OBJECTIVES THAT REGULATION NO 543/69 LAID DOWN , IN PARTICULAR , RULES ON MANNING , DRIVING-TIME AND REST-PERIODS AND MADE PROVISION FOR ESTABLISHING A SYSTEM FOR CHECKING THAT THE RULES ON WORKING HOURS WERE COMPLIED WITH .

17 WHILST IT IS TRUE THAT CERTAIN TRANSPORT OPERATIONS MAY BE EXCLUDED FROM THE AMBIT OF REGULATION NO 543/69 AND , HAVING REGARD TO ARTICLE 3 OF REGULATION NO 1463/70 , FROM THAT OF THE LATTER REGULATION , WHICH PROVIDED FOR THE COMPULSORY INSTALLATION OF TACHOGRAPH RECORDING EQUIPMENT , IT IS NEVERTHELESS APPARENT FROM THE FIRST AND FIFTH RECITALS IN THE PREAMBLE TO REGULATION NO 2827/77 THAT THE POSSIBILITY OF PROVIDING FOR EXEMPTION FROM THE COMMUNITY RULES MUST NOT JEOPARDIZE THE OBJECTIVES PURSUED IN THAT FIELD AND THAT THE POSSIBILITY IS INTENDED TO APPLY ONLY TO NATIONAL TRANSPORT OPERATIONS WITH SPECIAL CHARACTERSITICS .

18 IT FOLLOWS FROM THE AFOREMENTIONED CONTEXT AND OBJECTIVES OF REGULATION NO 543/69 THAT ARTICLE 14A ( 3 ) ( 3 ) THEREOF IS INTENDED TO EXEMPT FROM THE SYSTEM FOR CHECKING THAT THE PROVISIONS ON WORKING HOURS ARE COMPLIED WITH VEHICLES WHOSE PERMISSIBLE MAXIMUM WEIGHT EXCEEDS 3.5 TONNES AND WHOSE SPECIALIZATION IS SUCH THAT THE PURPOSE OF THE PROVISIONS IS NOT LIKELY TO BE JEOPARDIZED .

19 CONSEQUENTLY THE CONSTRUCTION , FITMENTS OR OTHER PERMANENT CHARACTERISTICS OF THE VEHICLE MUST ENSURE THAT IT IS USED PRIMARILY FOR A TRANSPORT OPERATION FALLING WITHIN THE EXCEPTIONS LAID DOWN BY THE REGULATION . THAT APPLIES BOTH TO VEHICLES SPECIALIZED FOR DOOR-TO-DOOR SELLING AND TO THOSE SPECIALIZED FOR MOBILE BANKING OR FOR THE LENDING OF BOOKS OR RECORDS , WHICH ARE ALSO REFERRED TO IN THE PROVISION AT ISSUE .

20 TO ACCEPT THAT , AS THE DEFENDANTS IN THE MAIN PROCEEDINGS MAINTAIN , THE TRANSPORT OPERATIONS SET OUT IN THAT PROVISION MAY BE EXEMPTED FROM THE COMMUNITY RULES WHEN THEY ARE CARRIED OUT BY VEHICLES WHICH HAVE MERELY BEEN MODIFIED FOR THE CARRIAGE OF CERTAIN GOODS , WOULD OPEN THE WAY FOR PRACTICES LIABLE TO FRUSTRATE THE OBJECTIVES OF THOSE RULES .

21 THE ANSWER TO THE FIRST AND THIRD QUESTIONS SHOULD THEREFORE BE THAT THE TERM ' ' SPECIALIZED VEHICLE ' ' FOR CERTAIN TYPES OF TRANSPORT OPERATIONS , WITHIN THE MEANING OF ARTICLE 14A ( 3 ) ( A ) OF REGULATION NO 543/69 , IS INTENDED TO COVER EXCLUSIVELY VEHICLES WHOSE CONSTRUCTION , FITMENTS OR OTHER PERMANENT CHARACTERISTICS GUARANTEE THAT THEY ARE USED PRIMARILY FOR ONE OF THOSE OPERATIONS , SUCH AS DOOR-TO-DOOR SELLING .

THE SECOND QUESTION

22 THE PURPOSE OF THE SECOND QUESTION PUT TO THE COURT BY THE HOUSE OF LORDS IS TO ASCERTAIN WHETHER THE ACTIVITY OF DOOR-TO-DOOR SELLING IS MEANT TO APPLY ONLY TO A METHODICAL CALLING AT ONE HOUSE AFTER ANOTHER FOR THE PURPOSE OF SELLING TO THE ULTIMATE CONSUMER OR WHETHER IT ALSO INCLUDES A SELLING ACTIVITY CHARACTERIZED BY FREQUENT STOPS , WHETHER AT THE HOMES OF INDIVIDUALS OR AT THE PREMISES OF WHOLESALE CUSTOMERS SUCH AS CANTEENS , OLD-PEOPLE ' S HOMES OR SUPERMARKETS .

23 THE DEFENDANTS IN THE MAIN PROCEEDINGS AND THE UNITED KINGDOM , IN THE OBSERVATIONS WHICH THEY HAVE SUBMITTED TO THE COURT , EXPRESS THE VIEW THAT THE TERM ' ' DOOR-TO-DOOR SELLING ' ' SHOULD BE GIVEN A WIDE INTERPRETATION . THEY CONTEND , IN EFFECT , THAT THE EXEMPTION IN QUESTION CAN , WITHOUT COMPROMISING THE OBJECTIVES OF REGULATION NO 543/69 , COVER DRIVERS WHO DRIVE FOR ONLY QUITE SHORT PERIODS WHERE THE TIME SPENT DRIVING IS SECONDARY TO THEIR SELLING ACTIVITY .

24 THE FRENCH GOVERNMENT AND THE COMMISSION PROPOSE THAT IN ORDER TO ENSURE THE EFFICACY OF CHECKS , ONLY ITINERANT RETAIL SALES TO INDIVIDUALS AT THEIR HOMES SHOULD BE EXEMPTED AND ADD THAT THE WORDING OF THE CONTESTED PROVISION IS NOT SUFFICIENTLY CLEAR AND PRECISE TO JUSTIFY A WIDER INTERPRETATION .

25 WHILST IT IS TRUE THAT SUCH A CONCLUSION SEEMS TO BE SUPPORTED BY THE WORDING OF SOME LANGUAGE VERSIONS OF ARTICLE 14A ( 3 ) ( A ) OF REGULATION NO 543/69 , OTHER LANGUAGE VERSIONS POINT MORE TO A WIDER INTERPRETATION .

26 IT IS NOT NECESSARY TO GIVE THE CONCEPT OF DOOR-TO-DOOR SELLING A STRICT INTERPRETATION IN ORDER TO ENSURE THE EFFECTIVE CHECKING OF COMPLIANCE WITH THE COMMUNITY RULES . IT FOLLOWS FROM THE FOREGOING CONSIDERATIONS THAT THE BASIC GUARANTEE OF COMPLIANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF REGULATION NO 543/69 IS THE FACT THAT THE VEHICLE HAS PERMANENT CHARACTERISTICS ENSURING THAT IT WILL NOT BE USED OTHER THAN FOR DOOR-TO-DOOR SELLING . IN SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES IT DOES NOT MATTER WHETHER SUCH DOOR-TO-DOOR SELLING IS TO INDIVIDUALS , TO WHOLESALERS OR TO OTHER CUSTOMERS PROVIDED THAT THE ACTIVITY OF SELLING IS CHARACTERIZED BY FREQUENT STOPS .

27 THE ANSWER TO THE SECOND QUESTION SHOULD THEREFORE BE THAT THE ACTIVITY OF ' ' DOOR-TO-DOOR SELLING ' ' WITHIN THE MEANING OF ARTICLE 14A ( 3 ) ( A ) OF REGULATION NO 543/69 MAY CONSIST OF CALLS ON POTENTIAL WHOLESALE CUSTOMERS , SUCH AS SHOPS , WORKS CANTEENS , OLD-PEOPLE ' S HOMES OR SUPERMARKETS PROVIDED THAT THE ACTIVITY OF SELLING IS CHARACTERIZED BY FREQUENT STOPS BY THE SPECIALIZED VEHICLE .

Decision on costs


COSTS

28 THE COSTS INCURRED BY THE GOVERNMENT OF THE FRENCH REPUBLIC , BY THE UNITED KINGDOM 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 PROCEEDINGS ARE CONCERNED , IN THE NATURE OF A STEP IN THE PROCEEDINGS PENDING BEFORE THE NATIONAL COURT , THE DECISION ON COSTS IS A MATTER FOR THAT COURT .

Operative part


ON THOSE GROUNDS ,

THE COURT ( FOURTH CHAMBER ),

IN ANSWER TO THE QUESTIONS REFERRED TO IT BY THE HOUSE OF LORDS BY ORDER OF 23 JUNE 1983 , HEREBY RULES :

1 . THE TERM ' ' SPECIALIZED VEHICLE ' ' FOR CERTAIN TYPES OF TRANSPORT OPERATIONS WITHIN THE MEANING OF ARTICLE 14A ( 3 ) ( A ) OF REGULATION NO 543/69 OF THE COUNCIL OF 25 MARCH 1969 ON THE HARMONIZATION OF CERTAIN SOCIAL LEGISLATION RELATING TO ROAD TRANSPORT ( OFFICIAL JOURNAL , ENGLISH SPECIAL EDITION 1969 ( I ), P . 170 ), AS AMENDED BY REGULATION NO 515/72 OF THE COUNCIL OF 28 FEBRUARY 1972 ( OFFICIAL JOURNAL , ENGLISH SPECIAL EDITION 1972 ( I ), P . 134 ) AND BY COUNCIL REGULATION NO 2827/77 OF 12 DECEMBER 1977 ( OFFICIAL JOURNAL 1977 , L 334 , P . 1 ) IS INTENDED TO COVER EXCLUSIVELY VEHICLES WHOSE CONSTRUCTION , FITMENTS OR OTHER PERMANENT CHARACTERISTICS GUARANTEE THAT THEY ARE USED PRIMARILY FOR ONE OF THOSE OPERATIONS , SUCH AS DOOR-TO-DOOR SELLING .

2.THE ACTIVITY OF ' ' DOOR-TO-DOOR SELLING ' ' WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE AFOREMENTIONED ARTICLE 14A ( 3 ) ( A ) MAY CONSIST OF CALLS ON POTENTIAL WHOLESALE CUSTOMERS , SUCH AS SHOPS , WORKS CANTEENS , OLD-PEOPLE ' S HOMES OR SUPERMARKETS PROVIDED THAT THE ACTIVITY OF SELLING IS CHARACTERIZED BY FREQUENT STOPS BY THE SPECIALIZED VEHICLE .

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