Case T-158/03, Spain v Commission

In the recent judgement in the case of Spain v Commission (Case T-158/03), the ECJ has rejected an application by the Spanish chemical company, Industrias Quimicas del Valles (IQV) to have the pesticide metalaxyl reinstated on the EU market.

This is the latest of several disputes which have arisen since the introduction of the EU pesticide reapproval process.

Since February 1994 IQV had imported metalaxyl into Spain and marketed products containing that active substance in Italy, Spain, Greece and Portugal, and also in several States outside the Community.

Following introduction of the Plant Protection Products Directive (Directive 91/414/EEC), IQV subsequently notified the Commission of their intention to submit a dossier with a view to the inclusion of that substance in Annex I to the Directive.

The process was not straightforward, with the information submitted continuing to fail to meet the requirements and thus involving protracted transition periods.

By 2001, an updated summary dossier still had not been provided to the Commission.

As a result, the Commission eventually adopted a Decision in 2003 (Decision 2003/308/EC) concerning the non-inclusion of metalaxyl in Annex I to Directive 91/414/EEC.

The present action was therefore brought by IQV in 2003, seeking annulment of Decision 2003/308/EEC.

However the ECJ, in its judgement of 28 June 2005, has dismissed the action in its entirety, therefore dismissing all the complaints raised by IQV in respect of how the Commission has handled its dossier for inclusion of metalaxyl in Directive Annex I.

see curia.eu.int for details.

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