The SACL referred to the CJEU for a preliminary ruling regarding prohibition to register missing vehicles
The Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania (SACL) is hearing a case and seeks to examine whether a prohibition to register vehicles which have been alerted as missing is legitimate and has decided to refer to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) for a preliminary ruling in an administrative case regarding the legality of Rules for the registration of motor vehicles and their trailers of The Republic of Lithuania.
The decision by the State undertaking Regitra, in which it refused to register the Applicant‘s purchased vehicle on the grounds that an alert was made in the Schengen Information System about the vehicle being missing in Bulgaria, is being contested in an individual case. The Kaunas‘ Division of the Regional Administrative Court of Lithuania requested SACL to examine whether Point 14 of the Rules for the registration of motor vehicles and their trailers (version of June 12, 2017) is in compliance with the rule of law regarding a provision which states that vehicles may only be registered after they have been removed from the national Lithuanian Schengen Information System.
According an extended panel of judges of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania, said provision has been formulated by the legislator in a way that implies without any exceptions that a vehicle cannot be registered if an alert has been issued in The second generation of the Schengen Information System (SIS II). Whereas, in the individual case, a situation occured that before the Applicant applied to Regitra for the vehicle‘s registration, competent national authorities had already performed these actions: had terminated criminal investigations because a criminal offence that took place in the Republic of Lithuania was not established, competent Bulgarian authorities had been notified, the vehicle owner had been informed of the fair acquirer and possible measures to be taken. However, over the span of three years, the owner of the vehicle took no measures that would show its intent to recover the vehicle. Furthermore, the responsible Bulgarian authorities did not take any action to remove the alert for the vehicle from SIS.
Under these circumstances, questions have arisen to the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania whether Article 39(1) of Council Decision 2007/533/JHA of 12 June 2007 “On the establishment, operation and use of the second generation Schengen Information System“ must be interpreted as 1) imposing an obligation to prohibit registration of objects for which an alert has been issued in the SIS, irrespective of it‘s lack of relevance; 2) obliging a Member State to lay down national law that would prohibit any actions with the located object other than actions by which an objective referred to in Article 38 (seizure or use as evidence in criminal proceedings) would be attained; 3) allowing Member States to lay down legal rules which would provide for exceptions to the prohibition on registering vehicles for which an alert has been entered in SIS pursuant to Article 38 of the decision, after the competent authorities of the Member State have taken steps in order for the State which entered the alert to be informed about the located object. The SACL referred to the CJEU for a preliminary ruling regarding these questions.
Administrative case No. eI-1-492/2021.
Case ID C-88/21.
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