E-6/19 H and I

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Deadlines: Motivation ministry: 2 October 2019
Written observations: 18 November 2019 (ultimate deadline)

Keywords : social legislation; road transport; rest periods

Subject :

- Regulation (EC) No 561/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 March 2006 on the harmonisation of certain social legislation relating to road transport and amending Council Regulations (EEC) No 3821/85 and (EC) No 2135/98 and repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 3820/85


Facts of the case:

Company X is a company under Liechtenstein law which undertakes the transport of valuables and money in armoured security vehicles. The Liechtenstein national police force carried out checks on company X and identified infringements of the provisions on the observance of rest periods and of the recording provisions. Thereupon, the Liechtenstein Public Prosecutor’s Office brought criminal proceedings before the Princely Court (Fürstliches Landgericht) seeking the conviction of the two accused, H and I. H and I were accused of having infringed the provisions on working time and rest periods in the EEA as truck drivers for company X. H stated that the periods in which he was a passenger did not constitute working time. Further he took the view that he did not need to register the working time and rest periods because an exception to registering and recording applies since the journey consisted in the transport of money and/or valuables. The Princely Court reasoned that both accused had to be acquitted because they had to be given the benefit of a mistake of law, for which they could not be blamed, since they were entitled to rely on information given to them by the management of company X. The Liechtenstein Public Prosecutor's Office brought an appeal against these judgments. It requests the Princely Court of Appeal to set aside the acquittals and to convict and sentence the two accused. The two criminal cases have been joined for the purposes of the appeal proceedings


Request for an advisory opinion:

1. In relation to Article 13(1)(m) of Regulation (EC) No 561/2006:

(a) Does this provision also apply to “empty journeys” by the specialised vehicles transporting money and/or valuables mentioned therein, in other words, to journeys by those vehicles for the purpose of collecting money or valuables and to return journeys after the delivery of money or valuables?

(b) Does this provision also apply to vehicles escorting specialised vehicles transporting money and/or valuables?

2. Is it necessary or proportionate, by reason of Article 19(1) of Regulation (EC) No 561/2006, for a Member State to impose penalties for infringements of this Regulation where the journeys at issue were effected by specialised vehicles transporting money or valuables on the territory of other Member States and those Member States have exercised the exception provided for in Article 13(1)(m) of this Regulation such that under the relevant national law of the Member States concerned no infringements exist?

3. Must Article 6(5) of Regulation (EC) No 561/2006 be interpreted as meaning that even where a Member State has exercised the exception provided for in Article 13(1)(m) of this Regulation, any time spent as described in Article 4(e) of this Regulation and time spent driving vehicles (in each case in relation to journeys involving specialised vehicles transporting money and/or valuables) must be recorded as “other work” in accordance with Article 6(5) of the Regulation mentioned? If the answer to the question is in the affirmative, must Article 6(5) of Regulation (EC) No 561/2006 be applied also where the relevant Member State has exempted the vehicles concerned in accordance with Article 3(2) of Regulation (EEC) No 3821/85 (now Article 3(2) of Regulation (EU) No 165/2014)?


Cited (recent) case-law: /

Policy area: SZW