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Alleged failure properly to reason the decision to close an infringement complaint

Available languages: bg.es.cs.da.de.et.el.en.fr.ga.it.lv.lt.hu.mt.nl.pl.pt.ro.sk.sl.fi.sv
  • Case: 1260/2010/RT
    Opened on 10 Aug 2010 - Recommendation on 06 Feb 2012 - Decision on 12 Dec 2012
  • Institution(s) concerned: European Commission
  • Field(s) of law: Customs Union and free movement of goods
  • Types of maladministration alleged – (i) breach of, or (ii) breach of duties relating to: Duty to state the grounds of decisions and the possibilities of appeal [Articles 18 and 19 ECGAB]
  • Subject matter(s): The Commission as Guardian of the treaty: Article 258 of the TFEU (ex Article 226 of the EC Treaty)
Copyright: Stocklib ©

Summary of the decision on complaint 1260/2010/RT against the European Commission

The complainant, a French farmers' association, complained to the European Commission that the French authorities failed to comply with the provisions of EU law concerning parallel imports of veterinary medicinal products (VMPs). It argued that France did not allow vets, farmers, pharmacists, and other retail distributors to have access to the simplified authorisation procedure for parallel imports of VMPs. In addition, the French authorities refused to grant access to the simplified procedure for parallel imports of VMPs to wholesale dealers authorised to distribute VMPs in other Member States.

The Commission opened infringement proceedings and sent a letter of formal notice to the French authorities. Subsequently, the French authorities modified the national legislation concerning the authorisation procedure for parallel imports of VMPs. The Commission therefore decided to close the case. The complainant alleged that the arguments provided by the Commission in its decision closing the infringement complaint were insufficient and unconvincing. It claimed that the Commission should either cancel its decision to close the infringement complaint, or open a new infringement proceeding against the French authorities.

In its opinion, the Commission first took the view that personal parallel imports of VMPs may not be authorised if the relevant provisions of Directive 2001/82/EC of the Community code relating to veterinary medicinal products are not complied with. The Commission noted, in sum, that parallel imports of VMPs are in general open to farmers, vets, and pharmacists or to wholesale dealers if they comply with specific provisions of that Directive relating to distribution, possession, and dispensing of VMPs and pharmacovigilance.

The Ombudsman considered that the Commission did not provide an appropriate justification for its decision to close the complainant's infringement complaint. He thus made a draft recommendation to the Commission. Following his draft recommendation, the Commission decided to open new infringement proceedings concerning the obstacles met by wholesale dealers who attempt to make parallel imports of VMPs. The Ombudsman therefore considered that the Commission had, so far, taken adequate measures to implement his draft recommendation. He therefore decided to close the case.