CJEU - T 643/11 / Judgment Crown Equipment (Suzhou) and Crown Gabelstapler v Council

Key facts of the case:
 
(Dumping — Imports of hand pallet trucks and their essential parts originating in China — Review — Article 11(2) of Regulation (EC) No 1225/2009 — Rights of defence — Error of fact — Manifest error of assessment — Obligation to state reasons)
 
Results (sanctions) and key consequences of the case:
 
Costs
  1. At the hearing, the applicants requested that, should the form of order sought by them not be granted, certain errors in the reasoning of the contested regulation should be taken into account when deciding on the award of costs.
  2. Under Article 87(2) of the Rules of Procedure of the General Court, the unsuccessful party is to be ordered to pay the costs if they have been applied for in the successful party’s pleadings. Article 87(3) provides that where each party succeeds on some and fails on other heads, or where the circumstances are exceptional, the Court may order that the costs be shared or that each party bear its own costs.
  3. In the present case, the Council requested that the applicants be ordered to pay the costs and the applicants have been unsuccessful. It must, however, be taken into account that there are several errors in recitals 58 and 60 of the contested regulation (see paragraph 92 above). In the light of those factors, the applicants must, in addition to bearing their own costs, be ordered to pay four fifths of the costs incurred by the Council. 
  4. In accordance with the first subparagraph of Article 87(4) of the Rules of Procedure, the institutions which have intervened in the proceedings are to bear their own costs. The Commission must therefore bear its own costs.
On those grounds,
 
THE GENERAL COURT (Fourth Chamber) hereby:
  1. Dismisses the action;
  2. Orders Crown Equipment (Suzhou) Co. Ltd and Crown Gabelstapler GmbH & Co. KG to bear their own costs and to pay four fifths of those incurred by the Council of the European Union;
  3. Orders the Council to bear one fifth of its own costs;
  4. Orders the European Commission to bear its own costs.
Paragraphs referring to EU Charter: 

 

45. In so far as the applicants submit that their right to a fair hearing has been infringed, it must be borne in mind that, although the Commission or the Council cannot be described as a ‘court or tribunal’ within the meaning of Article 6 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, signed at Rome on 4 November 1950 (see, to that effect, judgments of 29 October 1980 in van Landewyck and Others v Commission, 209/78 to 215/78 and 218/78, EU:C:1980:248, paragraph 81, and of 7 June 1983 in Musique diffusion française and Others v Commission, 100/80 to 103/80, ECR, EU:C:1983:158, paragraph 7), the Commission and the Council are nevertheless required during the administrative procedure to respect the fundamental rights of the European Union, which include the right to sound administration enshrined in Article 41 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights. In particular, it is Article 41, not Article 47 of that Charter, which governs the administrative procedure before the Commission and the Council in the matter of defence against dumped imports from non-EU countries (see, by analogy, judgment of 11 July 2013 in Ziegler v Commission, C‑439/11 P, ECR, EU:C:2013:513, paragraph 154 and the case-law cited).