Administration des Douanes et Droits Indirects v. Rioglass SA, Transremar SL

[2003] E.C.R. I-12705, Case C-115/02 (2003)

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Administration des Douanes et Droits Indirects v. Rioglass SA, Transremar SL

European Union Court of Justice
[2003] E.C.R. I-12705, Case C-115/02 (2003)

Facts

Rioglass SA (plaintiff) made and sold car windows and windscreens, supplying European car brands including Peugeot, Citroen, and Renault. In 1997, it sold a consignment of its goods—some of which were marked with the logos or trademarks of Peugeot, Citroen, and Renault—to Jann, a Polish company. These goods were produced in Spain, and Rioglass hired Transremar SL (plaintiff) to transport them from Spain to Poland, which was not a European Union (EU) member state at the time [Editor’s Note: Poland is now a member of the European Union, having joined in 2004]. When the shipment passed through customs in France, French customs officers detained the goods because they suspected trademark infringement. Rioglass and Transremar sought an interim order that would lift the detention, but the presiding judge rejected their application. They appealed, and the Bordeaux Court of Appeal held that the seizure infringed their property rights. It ordered the Administration des Douanes et Droits Indirects (the French customs authority) (defendant) to return the goods. The French customs authority appealed that order to the France Court of Cassation, which stayed proceedings to seek a preliminary ruling from the EU Court of Justice on whether EU treaty provisions guaranteeing the free movement of goods between member states precluded the French customs authority from seizing the windscreens and windshields.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)

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