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Lietuvos Respublikos vidaus reikalų ministerija (Immatriculation des véhicules signalés)

In this case submitted to the First Chamber of the CJUE, the request has been made in proceedings brought before the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania Regional Administrative Court concerning the lawfulness of Lithuanian legislation prohibiting vehicles which are the subject of an ongoing alert in the second generation Schengen Information System (‘SIS II’) from being registered in the national vehicle register. On 13 November 2015, DR purchased a motor vehicle in Germany on the basis of a contract concluded with AM Transportas. The vehicle in question had previously been stolen in Bulgaria. On 20 November 2015, that motor vehicle was removed from the vehicle registration in Germany, then transported to Lithuania and resold to another person. On 22 February 2016, that other person sought to register the motor vehicle in Lithuania with Regitra, the public undertaking responsible for the registration of motor vehicles in that Member State. It was at that time that the abovementioned other person discovered that an alert had been entered in SIS II, in Bulgaria on 23 December 2015, for that motor vehicle. That person therefore terminated the contract of sale concluded in respect of that vehicle. The criminal investigation initiated in Lithuania was closed, on the ground that there was no criminal offence committed in that Member State. However, By decision of 20 February 2019, the local office of Regitra rejected the application for registration of the vehicle concerned submitted by DR in Lithuania, a decision taken by that local office on the basis of a provision of Lithuanian legislation under which vehicles for which an ongoing alert has been entered in SIS II may be registered in that Member State only after such an alert has been deleted from that system. As consequence, the referring court asked if Article 39 of the SIS II Decision must be interpreted as prohibit the registration of objects for which there has been entered an alert, even if the criminal proceeding in the Member State was located have been closed in the absence of any criminal offence committed in that Member State. Moreover, if article 39 of the SIS II Decision obliges the Member State which has located an object for which an alert was issued pursuant to Article 38(1) of that decision to lay down rules of national law that would prohibit any action in respect of the located object other than measures which would allow the objective referred to in Article 38 (seizure or use as evidence in criminal proceedings) to be achieved? Last, article 39 allows the Member State to lay down legal rules providing for derogations from the prohibition on registering vehicles for which an alert has been entered in [SIS II] pursuant to Article 38 of that decision, after the competent authorities of the Member State have taken steps to inform the issuing State about the object which has been located?’. The Court affirmed that the Article 39 of the SIS II Decision does not lay down any general obligation to prohibit the registration of a motor vehicle which is the subject of an ongoing alert in the second generation Schengen Information System (SIS II); it does not require the executing Member State to provide for general rules prohibiting actions relating to the object which has been located, other than those which enable the objectives of Article 38(1) of that decision to be achieved; it does not preclude that Member State from providing for derogations from a general prohibition on registering such a vehicle.

Case Number C-88/21

Name of the parties Regionų apygardos administracinio teismo Kauno rūmai

Date of the judgement 2022-12-15

Court Court of Justice of the European Union (First Chamber)