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CJEU Case C-115/17 / Opinion

Administration des douanes et droits indirects and Etablissement national des produits de l'agriculture et de la mer (FranceAgriMer) v Hubert Clergeau and Others

Deciding Body type:
Court of Justice of the European Union
Deciding Body:
Advocte General
Type:
Opinion
Decision date:
12/04/2018

Key facts of the case:

Request for a preliminary ruling — Principle of the retroactive application of the more lenient criminal law — Third sentence of Article 49(1) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights — Export refunds — Special export refunds on certain cuts of boneless meat of bovine animals — Special export refunds obtained with fraudulent intent or by false declarations as to the nature of the goods exported — Goods which were not caught by the EU rules at the time when the declarations were made but later came to be included within their scope following a change in the law.

Outcome of the case:

 

In the light of the foregoing considerations, I propose that the Court reply as follows to request for a preliminary ruling from the Cour de cassation (Court of Cassation, France):

The third sentence of Article 49(1) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union is to be interpreted as meaning that it does not preclude the punishment of a person who has sought or obtained an unjustified advantage by engaging in deceitful practices or making false declarations as to the nature of the goods for which he is requesting a special export refund under EU law, in the case where the goods actually exported were not eligible for a refund at the time of those deceitful practices or declarations and became so eligible only by reason of a change in the rules of EU law that took place after the offence was committed.