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Document 62018TN0371

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Case T-371/18: Action brought on 18 June 2018 — Reiner Stemme Utility Air Systems/EASA

OJ C 276, 6.8.2018, p. 58–59 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, HR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)
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6.8.2018   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

C 276/58


Action brought on 18 June 2018 — Reiner Stemme Utility Air Systems/EASA

(Case T-371/18)

(2018/C 276/90)

Language of the case: English

Parties

Applicant: Reiner Stemme Utility Air Systems GmbH (Wildau, Germany) (represented by: O. Alexander and P. Stompfe, lawyers)

Defendant: European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)

Form of order sought

The applicant claims that the Court should:

declare the notification of charges — invoice No 90091554 dated 28 April 2017 issued by the defendant — in the form of the Decision of the EASA Board of Appeal dated 19 April 2018 to be null and void;

declare Commission Regulation (EU) No 319/2014 (1) of 27 March 2014 on the fees and charges levied by the European Aviation Safety Agency to be inapplicable in the present case;

suspend the application of invoice No 90091554 dated 28 April 2017 until the Court has rendered its decision; and

order the defendant to pay the costs of the proceedings.

Pleas in law and main arguments

In support of the action, the applicant relies on four pleas in law.

1.

First plea in law, alleging that the Commission exceeded its competence in levying taxes in the area of air safety

The applicant puts forward that ‘fees’ for airplanes in the category of 2 000 — 5 700 kg would elevate to be taxes, due to the ‘dramatic jump’ of the ‘flat fee’ of more than 1 700 percent. In this particular case, the defendant’s service for the citizen in return for the ‘fees’ would be so negligible (minimal), that one could not consider the defendant’s service as a return, but it would constitute taxation.

However, the Commission would have no competence to levy taxes in the field of air safety. Therefore, Commission Regulation (EU) No 319/2014 prescribing a flat fee in the amount of EUR 263 800 for certification tasks for airplanes such as the applicant’s, which is allegedly largely unrelated to the actual tasks performed by the defendant and, thus, would not constitute consideration for the defendant’s services rendered, would violate the principle of conferral.

2.

Second plea in law, alleging that the contested invoice as confirmed by the contested decision, constitutes a violation of Article 16 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union

Pursuant to the applicant, the fees it charged based on Regulation (EU) No 319/2014 for the given certification task would be out of proportion to the objective pursued and, thus, in violation with the applicant’s freedom to conduct business in accordance with Article 16 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

3.

Third plea in law, alleging that the contested invoice as confirmed by the contested decision, constitutes a discriminatory treatment and hence, is in violation of Article 20 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union

The contested invoice issued by the defendant pursuant to Regulation (EU) No 319/2014 would not meet the requirements of Article 20 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, since the applicant would be treated differently compared to other aircraft manufactures seeking a type certification, although the situation requires the same treatment.

4.

Fourth plea in law, alleging an infringement of Article 13(2) TEU

Finally, the applicant claims that Article 7(2) of Regulation (EU) No 319/2014 would not leave any discretion to the defendant concerning the payment of fees for the certification task. Rather, it would determine when the fee to be paid shall be a flat fee or a variable fee. By that, the Commission would have exceeded its authorisation to adopt the regulation, and thus violated the institutional balance of the Union set out in Article 13(2) TEU.


(1)  Commission Regulation (EU) No 319/2014 of 27 March 2014 on the fees and charges levied by the European Aviation Safety Agency, and repealing Regulation (EC) No 593/2007 (OJ 2014 L 93, p. 58).


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