Key facts of the case:
(References for a preliminary ruling — Directive 93/13/EEC — Directive 2009/22/EC — Consumer protection — Erga omnes effect of unfair terms entered in a public register — Financial penalty imposed on a seller or supplier having used a term held to be equivalent to a term in the register — Seller or supplier who was not a party to the proceedings giving rise to the declaration that the term in question was unfair — Article 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union — Concept of ‘court or tribunal against whose decisions there is no judicial remedy under national law’)
Results (sanctions) and key consequences of the case:
On those grounds, the Court (Fifth Chamber) hereby rules:
- Article 6(1) and Article 7 of Council Directive 93/13/EEC of 5 April 1993 on unfair terms in consumer contracts, read in conjunction with Articles 1 and 2 of Directive 2009/22/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on injunctions for the protection of consumers’ interests and in the light of Article 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, must be interpreted as not precluding the use of standard contract terms with content identical to that of terms which have been declared unlawful by a judicial decision having the force of law and which have been entered in a national register of unlawful standard contract terms from being regarded, in relation to another seller or supplier which was not a party to the proceedings culminating in the entry in that register, as an unlawful act, provided, which it is for the referring court to verify, that that seller or supplier has an effective judicial remedy against the decision declaring the terms compared to be equivalent in terms of the question whether, in the light of all relevant circumstances particular to each case, those terms are materially identical, having regard in particular to their harmful effects for consumers, and against the decision fixing the amount of the fine imposed, where applicable.
- The third paragraph of Article 267 TFEU must be interpreted as meaning that a court such as the referring court, whose decisions in proceedings such as those in the main proceedings may be the subject matter of an appeal in cassation, cannot be categorised as a ‘court or tribunal against whose decisions there is no judicial remedy under national law’.