12 mai 2012

ECtHR refuses to apply ECJ judgment because it was unforeseeable, Ioviţoni, 57583/10

Romania introduced a pollution tax for the first registration of a car. In this manner, if you buy a second hand car in Romania (i.e. the car has already been registered in Romania), you do not pay any pollution tax. However when you bring a second hand car from another EU State (like Germany), you must pay the pollution tax. On 07/04/2011 the European Court of Justice found in case Tatu, C-402/09, that this was indirect trade discrimination against sellers from other EU States contrary to Article 110 TFEU (§ 33).

In 2010, previously to the ECJ judgment, commercial company Holtzver SRL and others tried to get the pollution tax back, but the Romanian Appellate Courts dismissed their actions (§§ 9, 13). The victims of trade discrimination could not file a claim directly to the ECJ. Therefore, the company wished to prove the breach of property rights before the European Court of Human Rights.

The ECtHR declared the applications inadmissible, since the ECJ judgment “had not been evident” (§ 49).

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