Order of the Court (Fourth Chamber) of 12 November 1998. - Appeal brought by Hans-Jürgen Hartmann against an administrative fine. - Reference for a preliminary ruling: Oberlandesgericht Köln - Germany. - Application for interpretation of an agreement concluded between certain Member States under Article 8 of Directive 93/89/EEC - Lack of jurisdiction of the Court. - Case C-162/98.
European Court reports 1998 Page I-07083
Preliminary rulings - Jurisdiction of the Court - Limits - Agreement concluded between certain Member States on charges for the use of roads - Exemption - Community directive authorising the conclusion of the agreement - Lack of effect - Reference by the agreement to definitions contained in the directive - Lack of effect in the case of a reference concerning the interpretation of a term not included in those definitions
(EC Treaty, Art. 177; Council Directive 93/89)
The Court manifestly lacks jurisdiction to reply to a reference for a preliminary ruling on the interpretation of the Agreement of 9 February 1994 concluded between the Governments of certain Member States on the levying of charges for the use of certain roads by heavy commercial vehicles where the question referred concerns neither the interpretation of the Treaty nor the validity or interpretation of acts of the institutions of the Community.
It is irrelevant in that regard that the preamble to the Agreement refers to Directive 93/89 on the application of taxes on certain vehicles used for the carriage of goods by road and tolls and charges for the use of certain infrastructures, which authorises two or more Member States to cooperate in introducing a common system for user charges, subject to certain conditions in addition to those governing the imposition of such charges where Member States act individually, since the mere fact that the directive authorises Member States to cooperate in that way is not enough to justify the view that an agreement concluded for that purpose forms an integral part of Community law whose interpretation falls within the jurisdiction of the Court.
Nor can such jurisdiction be inferred from the fact that the Agreement refers to certain definitions contained in the directive, inasmuch as those definitions do not include the term forming the subject-matter of the request for interpretation.