European Parliament 2014-2019
Committee on Petitions
NOTICE TO MEMBERS Subject:
Petition No 1877/2014 by Sandor Marton (Serbian), on admission of his German car with temporary number plates
Summary of petition
The petitioner is a Serbian citizen who has worked in Germany for many years as a guest worker. He complains that the Hungarian customs authorities refused to allow his car, which had temporary German (yellow) export registration plates, into Serbia at the border. According to the petitioner, this is a breach of the right of the free movement of goods. In order to move the car into Serbia, it has to be transported across the border in a low loader. The petitioner requests an explanation. 2.
Declared admissible on 17 June 2015. Information requested from Commission under Rule 216(6). 3.
Commission reply, received on 29 February 2016
The principle of free movement of goods is one of the cornerstones of the EU's internal market. It implies that national barriers to the free movement of goods between the EU Member States are prohibited. Serbia is not a part of the EU, but Article 22(2) of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement between the EU and Serbia (OJ L 278, 18.10.2013) abolishes any quantitative restrictions on exports and measures having equivalent effect. However, it is to be noted that there are no harmonised EU rules regulating the vehicle registration and the issuance of registration plates. Therefore Member States are free to legislate on this topic and to introduce their own types of registration plates provided that the provisions of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU are respected. Generally, Member States require valid registration plates for circulating on their public roads.
PE578.583v02-00 United in diversity
The official German registration plates for export are white with black borders and a red field on the left end of the plate where the date of expiry is indicated. This form of registration is in compliance with international requirements on vehicle registration as laid down by UNECE 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic. It is also in compliance with the provisions related to vehicle registration documents as provided by Directive 1999/37/EC, and covers both the identification of the vehicle and the existence of a third party insurance1. Although the German registration plates with a yellow field used by the petitioner are temporary plates, those number plates do not necessarily identify the motor vehicle. They can be attached to any vehicle and are intended to allow test and demonstration drives, or enable the holder of the professional registration to move vehicles to their new owners within Germany. The account of the facts provided by the petitioner is not entirely clear. It may be understood to the effect that the Hungarian intervened not because the petitioner intended to cross a frontier to Serbia but because the motor vehicle concerned circulated on Hungarian territory even though it was not properly authorised for the entry into service in road traffic outside Germany. Article 22(2) of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement between the EU and Serbia (OJ L 278, 18.10.2013), concerning the abolition of quantitative restrictions on exports and measures having equivalent effect, does not cover circulation of vehicles on territories of other Member States, as such. Conclusion In the case as referred to above, no breach of EU law could be identified, and there would be no scope for Commission intervention. .
See Answer given OJ C 249 E, 26/08/2011.