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Document 61982CJ0295

Judgment of the Court (Third Chamber) of 9 February 1984.
Groupement d'Intérêt Economique "Rhône-Alpes Huiles" and others v Syndicat National des Fabricants Raffineurs d'Huile de Graissage and others.
Reference for a preliminary ruling: Cour d'appel de Lyon - France.
Free movement of goods - Waste oils.
Case 295/82.

European Court Reports 1984 -00575

ECLI identifier: ECLI:EU:C:1984:48

61982J0295

Judgment of the Court (Third Chamber) of 9 February 1984. - Groupement d'Intérêt Economique "Rhône-Alpes Huiles" and others v Syndicat National des Fabricants Raffineurs d'Huile de Graissage and others. - Reference for a preliminary ruling: Cour d'appel de Lyon - France. - Free movement of goods - Waste oils. - Case 295/82.

European Court reports 1984 Page 00575


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

Keywords


1 . PRELIMINARY RULINGS - JURISDICTION OF THE COURT - LIMITS - JURISDICTION OF THE NATIONAL COURT - DETERMINATION OF THE EXISTENCE OF A PROHIBITION WHICH IS INCOMPATIBLE WITH COMMUNITY LAW

( EEC TREATY , ART . 177 )

2 . FREE MOVEMENT OF GOODS - QUANTITATIVE RESTRICTIONS ON EXPORTS - MEASURES HAVING EQUIVALENT EFFECT - COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 75/439 - SCOPE - RIGHT OF A HOLDER OR AN APPROVED COLLECTOR IN A MEMBER STATE TO DELIVER WASTE OILS TO AN AUTHORIZED DISPOSAL UNDERTAKING IN ANOTHER MEMBER STATE

( EEC TREATY , ART . 34 ; COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 75/439 )

Summary


1 . THE COURT , IN THE CONTEXT OF A REFERENCE FOR A PRELIMINARY RULING , CAN ONLY PROVIDE THE INTERPRETATION OF COMMUNITY LAW WHICH IS REQUESTED OF IT . IT IS FOR THE NATIONAL COURT , WHERE NECESSARY IN THE LIGHT OF INFORMATION FURNISHED BY THE COURT OF JUSTICE , TO DETERMINE WHETHER THE NATIONAL LEGISLATION AT ISSUE CONTAINS A PROHIBITION OF EXPORTS WHICH IS INCOMPATIBLE WITH COMMUNITY LAW .

2 . THE AIMS OF COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 75/439 ON THE DISPOSAL OF WASTE OILS AND THE RULES LAID DOWN BY THE EEC TREATY ON THE FREE MOVEMENT OF GOODS REQUIRE THAT WASTE OILS MAY BE DELIVERED BY EITHER A HOLDER OR AN APPROVED COLLECTOR TO A DISPOSAL UNDERTAKING IN ANOTHER MEMBER STATE WHICH HOLDS A PERMIT IN THAT STATE IN ACCORDANCE WITH ARTICLE 6 OF THE DIRECTIVE .

Parties


IN CASE 295/82

REFERENCE TO THE COURT UNDER ARTICLE 177 OF THE EEC TREATY BY THE COUR D ' APPEL ( COURT OF APPEAL ), LYON , FOR A PRELIMINARY RULING IN THE ACTION PENDING BEFORE THAT COURT BETWEEN

GROUPEMENT D ' INTERET ECONOMIQUE ' ' RHONE ALPES HUILES ' ' AND OTHERS

AND

SYNDICAT NATIONAL DES FABRICANTS RAFFINEURS D ' HUILE DE GRAISSAGE AND OTHERS

Subject of the case


ON THE INTERPRETATION OF ARTICLES 30 AND 34 OF THE EEC TREATY AND OF COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 75/439/EEC OF 16 JUNE 1975 ON THE DISPOSAL OF WASTE OILS ( OFFICIAL JOURNAL , L 194 , P . 23 ),

Grounds


1 BY JUDGMENT OF 18 NOVEMBER 1982 , RECEIVED AT THE COURT ON 22 NOVEMBER 1982 , THE COUR D ' APPEL ( COURT OF APPEAL ), LYON , REFERRED TO IT A QUESTION FOR A PRELIMINARY RULING UNDER ARTICLE 177 OF THE EEC TREATY ON THE INTERPRETATION OF COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 75/439/EEC OF 16 JUNE 1975 ON THE DISPOSAL OF WASTE OILS ( OFFICIAL JOURNAL , L 194 , P . 23 ) AND ARTICLE 30 ET SEQ . OF THE EEC TREATY , FOR THE PURPOSE OF DETERMINING THE COMPATIBILITY WITH THOSE PROVISIONS OF FRENCH DECREE NO 79-981 OF 21 NOVEMBER 1979 LAYING DOWN RULES FOR THE RECOVERY OF WASTE OILS ( JOURNAL OFFICIEL DE LA REPUBLIQUE FRANCAISE OF 23 NOVEMBER 1979 , P . 2900 ) AND THE ORDERS IMPLEMENTING IT .

2 THE MAIN ACTION IS BETWEEN , ON THE ONE HAND , THE SYNDICAT NATIONAL DES FABRICANTS RAFFINEURS D ' HUILE DE GRAISSAGE AND FOUR OTHER PLAINTIFFS AT FIRST INSTANCE ( RESPONDENTS BEFORE THE COUR D ' APPEL ), AND , ON THE OTHER , THE GROUPEMENT D ' INTERET ECONOMIQUE ' ' RHONE ALPES HUILES ' ' AND THREE OTHER DEFENDANTS ( APPELLANTS BEFORE THE COUR D ' APPEL ). THE PURPOSE OF THE ACTION IS TO RESTRAIN THE DEFENDANTS FROM COLLECTING WASTE OILS IN A NUMBER OF GEOGRAPHICAL ZONES , IN SO FAR AS THE APPELLANTS DO NOT HAVE THE PERMIT REQUIRED BY FRENCH LEGISLATION AND EXPORT THE OILS COLLECTED IN BREACH OF THAT LEGISLATION .

3 THE DISPOSAL OF WASTE OILS IS THE SUBJECT OF THE AFOREMENTIONED COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 75/439 . ARTICLES 2 TO 4 OF THE DIRECTIVE PROVIDE THAT MEMBER STATES MUST TAKE THE NECESSARY MEASURES TO ENSURE THE SAFE COLLECTION AND DISPOSAL OF WASTE OILS , PREFERABLY BY RECYCLING . ARTICLE 5 OF THE DIRECTIVE PROVIDES THAT ' ' WHERE THE AIMS DEFINED IN ARTICLES 2 , 3 AND 4 CANNOT OTHERWISE BE ACHIEVED , MEMBER STATES SHALL TAKE THE NECESSARY MEASURES TO ENSURE THAT ONE OR MORE UNDERTAKINGS CARRY OUT THE COLLECTION AND/OR DISPOSAL OF THE PRODUCTS OFFERED TO THEM BY HOLDERS , WHERE APPROPRIATE IN THE ZONE ASSIGNED TO THEM BY THE COMPETENT AUTHORITIES ' ' . ARTICLE 7 REQUIRES HOLDERS OF WASTE OILS TO PLACE THEM ' ' AT THE DISPOSAL OF THE UNDERTAKING OR UNDERTAKINGS REFERRED TO IN ARTICLE 5 ' ' , EXCEPT IF THEY ARE IN A POSITION TO DISCHARGE , DEPOSIT OR PROCESS THEM IN A WAY WHICH IS NOT PROHIBITED UNDER ARTICLE 4 FOR REASONS CONNECTED WITH THE PROTECTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT .

4 BY WAY OF IMPLEMENTATION OF THAT DIRECTIVE , THE FRENCH GOVERNMENT , ON 21 NOVEMBER 1979 , ADOPTED DECREE NO 79-981 , LAYING DOWN RULES FOR THE RECOVERY OF WASTE OILS , AND TWO IMPLEMENTING ORDERS OF THE SAME DATE . THOSE PROVISIONS INTRODUCED A SYSTEM OF PERMITS BOTH FOR COLLECTORS OF WASTE OILS AND FOR UNDERTAKINGS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DISPOSAL OF SUCH OILS . DECREE NO 79-981 PROVIDES EXPRESSLY THAT COLLECTORS MUST DELIVER THE WASTE OILS COLLECTED TO APPROVED DISPOSAL UNDERTAKINGS . ARTICLES 2 AND 9 OF THE ORDER ON THE CONDITIONS FOR THE DISPOSAL OF WASTE OILS STIPULATE , MOREOVER , THAT APPROVED DISPOSAL UNDERTAKINGS MUST TREAT THE WASTE OILS IN THEIR OWN INSTALLATIONS OR BE LIABLE TO HAVE THEIR PERMIT WITHDRAWN . FINALLY , ARTICLE 3 OF DECREE NO 79-981 REQUIRES THOSE HOLDERS OF WASTE OILS WHO THEMSELVES CARRY OUT THE TRANSPORT THEREOF TO PLACE THEM AT THE DISPOSAL OF A DISPOSAL UNDERTAKING HOLDING A PERMIT UNDER ARTICLE 8 OF THAT DECREE .

5 IN THAT CONNECTION , THE COUR D ' APPEL , LYON , CONSIDERED THAT THE FRENCH LEGISLATION CONTAINED BY IMPLICATION A PROHIBITION , APPLYING TO BOTH APPROVED COLLECTORS AND HOLDERS OF WASTE OILS , ON EXPORTATION OF THOSE OILS TO OTHER COUNTRIES , INCLUDING MEMBER STATES OF THE COMMUNITY .

6 THE GROUPEMENT D ' INTERET ECONOMIQUE ' ' RHONE ALPES HUILES ' ' AND THE OTHER APPELLANTS MAINTAINED IN THEIR ACTION BEFORE THE NATIONAL COURT THAT SUCH AN EXPORT BAN WAS INCOMPATIBLE WITH COMMUNITY RULES ON THE FREE MOVEMENT OF GOODS , AND THE COUR D ' APPEL , LYON , STAYED THE PROCEEDINGS AND REFERRED THE FOLLOWING QUESTION TO THE COURT FOR A PRELIMINARY RULING :

' ' ARE THE PROVISIONS CONTAINED IN ARTICLE 3 OF DECREE NO 79-981 OF 21 NOVEMBER 1979 , REQUIRING HOLDERS OF WASTE OILS WHO TRANSPORT SUCH WASTES THEMSELVES TO PLACE THEM AT THE DISPOSAL OF A DISPOSAL UNDERTAKING HOLDING A PERMIT UNDER ARTICLE 8 OF THE DECREE , AND THE PROVISIONS OF ARTICLE 10 OF THE ANNEX TO THE ORDER OF 21 NOVEMBER 1979 ON THE CONDITIONS FOR THE COLLECTION OF WASTE OILS , REQUIRING APPROVED COLLECTORS TO DELIVER THE WASTE OILS TO APPROVED DISPOSAL UNDERTAKINGS , COMPATIBLE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF ARTICLE 30 ET SEQ . OF THE TREATY OF ROME PROHIBITING QUANTITATIVE RESTRICTIONS ON IMPORTS BETWEEN MEMBER STATES AND ALL MEASURES HAVING EQUIVALENT EFFECT , AND ARE THEY COMPATIBLE WITH THE DIRECTIVES ISSUED ON THE SUBJECT BY THE COUNCIL OF THE COMMUNITIES?

' '

7 THIS QUESTION IS SUBSTANTIALLY SIMILAR TO THE QUESTION WHICH WAS ANSWERED IN THE JUDGMENT OF THE COURT OF 10 MARCH 1983 IN CASE 172/82 INTER-HUILES ( 1983 ) ECR 555 . LIKE THE QUESTION IN THAT CASE ITS PURPOSE IS TO ESTABLISH WHETHER COMMUNITY RULES ON THE FREE MOVEMENT OF GOODS , AND COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 75/439 OF 16 JUNE 1975 ON THE DISPOSAL OF WASTE OILS , PERMIT A MEMBER STATE TO ORGANIZE A SYSTEM FOR THE COLLECTION AND DISPOSAL OF WASTE OILS WITHIN ITS TERRITORY IN SUCH A WAY AS TO PROHIBIT EXPORTS TO AN AUTHORIZED DISPOSAL OR REGENERATING UNDERTAKING IN ANOTHER MEMBER STATE . HOWEVER , UNLIKE THE QUESTION RAISED IN THE EARLIER CASE , IT DRAWS A DISTINCTION BETWEEN USED OILS WHICH ARE DELIVERED BY A HOLDER AND THOSE WHICH ARE DELIVERED BY AN APPROVED COLLECTOR .

8 IN ITS ABOVE-MENTIONED JUDGMENT IN THE INTER-HUILES CASE , THE COURT HAS INDICATED IN GENERAL TERMS THAT THE COMMUNITY RULES ON THE FREE MOVEMENT OF GOODS , AS WELL AS COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 75/439 OF 16 JUNE 1975 ON THE DISPOSAL OF WASTE OILS , DO NOT ALLOW A MEMBER STATE TO ORGANIZE A SYSTEM FOR THE COLLECTION AND DISPOSAL OF WASTE OILS WITHIN ITS TERRITORY IN SUCH A WAY AS TO PROHIBIT EXPORTS TO AN AUTHORIZED DISPOSAL OR REGENERATING UNDERTAKING IN ANOTHER MEMBER STATE .

9 THUS THE COURT HAS NOT DRAWN A DISTINCTION BETWEEN EXPORTS WHICH ARE CARRIED OUT THROUGH APPROVED COLLECTORS AND THOSE MADE BY THE HOLDERS OF WASTE OILS . FOR TO THE EXTENT TO WHICH THE HOLDERS OF WASTE OILS ARE ENTITLED UNDER ARTICLE 7 OF DIRECTIVE 75/439 TO MAKE THEIR OWN DELIVERIES OF THE OILS THEY HAVE PRODUCED TO AN APPROVED DISPOSAL UNDERTAKING , IT IS NOT OPEN TO MEMBER STATES TO SUBJECT THEM TO RESTRICTIONS ON EXPORTS CONTRARY TO THE AIMS OF THE DIRECTIVE AND TO ARTICLE 34 OF THE TREATY .

10 IN REPLY TO THE COUR D ' APPEL , LYON , IT SHOULD THEREFORE BE STATED THAT THE AIMS OF COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 75/439 OF 16 JUNE 1975 ON THE DISPOSAL OF WASTE OILS AND THE RULES LAID DOWN BY THE EEC TREATY ON THE FREE MOVEMENT OF GOODS REQUIRE THAT WASTE OILS MAY BE DELIVERED BY EITHER A HOLDER OR AN APPROVED COLLECTOR TO A DISPOSAL UNDERTAKING IN ANOTHER MEMBER STATE WHICH HOLDS A PERMIT IN THAT STATE IN ACCORDANCE WITH ARTICLE 6 OF THE DIRECTIVE .

11 HOWEVER , THE FRENCH GOVERNMENT HAS INDICATED THAT FRANCE IS THE MAIN EXPORTER OF WASTE OILS WITHIN THE COMMUNITY AND CONSIDERS THAT A MEMBER STATE IN SUCH A POSITION CANNOT BE ACCUSED OF IMPEDING THE EXPORTATION OF SUCH PRODUCTS . IN THAT CONNECTION , IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT THE MERE FACT THAT THE GREAT MAJORITY OF EXPORTS WITHIN THE COMMUNITY COME FORM A SINGLE MEMBER STATE DOES NOT JUSTIFY THE INFERENCE THAT THE LEGISLATION OF THAT MEMBER STATE PERMITS EXPORTS TO OTHER MEMBER STATES BY COLLECTORS AND HOLDERS .

12 IN ANY EVENT , WHILST THE FRENCH GOVERNMENT HAS MAINTAINED THAT ITS NATIONAL LEGISLATION , TAKEN TOGETHER WITH A CUSTOMS CIRCULAR DATED 20 OCTOBER 1982 , PERMITS , IN PRACTICE , THE RESALE OF WASTE OILS TO AUTHORIZED DISPOSAL UNDERTAKINGS IN OTHER MEMBER STATES , IT SHOULD BE BORNE IN MIND THAT THE COURT , IN THE CONTEXT OF A REFERENCE FOR A PRELIMINARY RULING , CAN ONLY PROVIDE THE INTERPRETATION OF COMMUNITY LAW WHICH IS REQUESTED OF IT . IT IS INSTEAD FOR THE NATIONAL COURT , WHERE NECESSARY IN THE LIGHT OF INFORMATION FURNISHED BY THE COURT OF JUSTICE , TO DETERMINE WHETHER THE LEGISLATION AT ISSUE CONTAINS A PROHIBITION OF EXPORTS .

13 FOR THE REST , IT APPEARS TO THE COURT THAT THE INTERPRETATION OF COMMUNITY RULES WHICH HAS BEEN REQUESTED IN THIS CASE HAS IN THE MEANTIME BEEN PROVIDED BY THE JUDGMENT OF THE COURT IN THE AFOREMENTIONED INTER-HUILES CASE , IN WHICH ALL THE CONTENTIONS PUT FORWARD IN THE OBSERVATIONS SUBMITTED IN THESE PROCEEDINGS RECEIVED AN ANSWER , AND IN CONNECTION WITH WHICH IT DOES NOT APPEAR TO THE COURT THAT ANY NEW FACTORS HAVE ARISEN .

Decision on costs


COSTS

14 THE COSTS INCURRED BY THE GOVERNMENT OF THE FRENCH REPUBLIC , THE GOVERNMENT OF THE ITALIAN REPUBLIC AND 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 PROCEEDINGS PENDING BEFORE THE NATIONAL COURT , COSTS ARE A MATTER FOR THAT COURT .

Operative part


ON THOSE GROUNDS ,

THE COURT ( THIRD CHAMBER ),

IN ANSWER TO THE QUESTION REFERRED TO IT BY THE COUR D ' APPEL , LYON , BY JUDGMENT OF 18 NOVEMBER 1982 , HEREBY RULES :

THE AIMS OF COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 75/439/EEC OF 16 JUNE 1975 ON THE DISPOSAL OF WASTE OILS AND THE RULES LAID DOWN BY THE EEC TREATY ON THE FREE MOVEMENT OF GOODS REQUIRE THAT WASTE OILS MAY BE DELIVERED BY EITHER A HOLDER OR AN APPROVED COLLECTOR TO A DISPOSAL UNDERTAKING IN ANOTHER MEMBER STATE WHICH HAS OBTAINED A PERMIT AS PROVIDED FOR IN ARTICLE 6 OF THE DIRECTIVE IN THAT STATE .

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