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*PIL Case Law

Published on December 6th, 2016 | by Olga Papadopoulou

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CJEU C‑15/15, Reg.593/2008, Free movement of goods, Art. 35 TFEU, Cross-border concession agreement

C15/15

New Valmar BVBA  V.  Global Pharmacies Partner Health Srl,

JUDGMENT OF THE COURT (Grand Chamber) 21 June 2016 (*)

(Reference for a preliminary ruling — Free movement of goods — Prohibition of measures having equivalent effect to quantitative restrictions on exports — Article 35 TFEU — Company established in the Dutch-speaking region of the Kingdom of Belgium — Legislation requiring invoices to be drawn up in Dutch, failing which they are null and void — Cross-border concession agreement — Restriction — Justification — Disproportionate)

In those circumstances, the rechtbank van koophandel te Gent (Ghent Commercial Court) decided to stay the proceedings and to refer the following question to the Court for a preliminary ruling:

‘Must Article 45 TFEU be interpreted as precluding legislation of a federal entity of a Member State, such as, in the present case, the Flemish Community in the Federal State of Belgium, which requires every undertaking which has its place of establishment within the territory of that entity to draw up, pursuant to Article 52 of the [Law on the use of languages] in conjunction with Article 10 of the [Decree on the use of languages], cross-border invoices exclusively in the official language of that federal entity, failing which those invoices are to be declared by the [national] courts of their own motion to be null and void?’

On those grounds, the Court (Grand Chamber), rules as follows:

Article 35 TFEU must be interpreted as precluding legislation of a federated entity of a Member State, such as the Flemish Community of the Kingdom of Belgium, which requires every undertaking that has its place of establishment within the territory of that entity to draw up all the details on invoices relating to cross-border transactions exclusively in the official language of that entity, failing which those invoices are to be declared null and void by the national courts of their own motion.

Read the full decision, here…





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