Article 49 - Principles of legality and proportionality of criminal offences and penalties
Key facts of the case:
Requests for a preliminary ruling from the Corte suprema di cassazione.
Reference for a preliminary ruling – Approximation of laws – Recording equipment in road transport – Regulation (EEC) No 3821/85 – Article 15(7) – Regulation (EC) No 561/2006 – Control proceedings – Administrative penalty – Failure to produce the record sheets for the tachograph relating to the current day and the previous 28 days – Single or multiple infringement.
Outcome of the case:
On those grounds, the Court (Tenth Chamber) hereby rules:
Article 15(7) of Council Regulation (EEC) No 3821/85 of 20 December 1985 on recording equipment in road transport, as amended by Regulation (EC) No 561/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 March 2006 and Article 19 of Regulation No 561/2006 must be interpreted as meaning that, should the driver of a road transport vehicle subject to an inspection fail to produce the record sheets of the recording equipment relating to several days of activity during the period covering the day of the inspection and the previous 28 days, the competent authorities of the Member State where the inspection was carried out must make a finding of a single infringement by that driver and impose on him or her only a single penalty for that infringement.
49) However, that court must also ensure that it complies with the principle that offences and penalties must be defined by law, enshrined in the first sentence of Article 49(1) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. According to the case-law of the Court, that principle requires that legislation must clearly define offences and the penalties which they attract. That requirement is satisfied where the individual concerned is in a position to ascertain from the wording of the relevant provision and, if need be, with the assistance of the courts’ interpretation of it, what acts and omissions will make him or her criminally liable (judgment of 22 October 2015, AC-Treuhand v Commission, C‑194/14 P, EU:C:2015:717, paragraph 40).