Today were enquired whether a truck, registered in one EU member state would have a valid roadworthiness test certificate if the test would to be performed in another EU member state. The problem is that the Community haulage permit holder (licensed in Bulgaria) had been stopped by the Bulgarian Traffic Police and after a document inspection they haven’t recognized the roadworthiness test certificate of the truck issued in Spain.
We have checked thoroughly whether this non-recognition is legal or not. Pursuant Art.4 of 77/143/EEC Council Directive, “roadworthiness tests within the meaning of this Directive shall be carried out by the State or by bodies or establishments designated and directly supervised by the State”. Stipulated like that it is still not very clear whether the Traffic Police in our case is right or not.
However, we have researched further on that and we have found that a very similar case have already been tried in European Court of Justice. In its decision on the case Johannes Gerrit Cornelis van Schaik v Hoge Raad der Nederlanden in Para 21 the Court has ruled that:
...Article 4 of the directive further provides that the roadworthiness tests, within the meaning of the directive, are to be carried out by the State or by bodies or establishments designated and directly supervised by the State. Thus the directive imposes a territorial limitation on periodic testing.
The decision of the European Court of Justice are obligatory for all domestic courts, in terms of interpretation and best application of the European legislation in the member states. Therefore, the Traffic Police decision not to recognise roadworthiness certificate issued in a member state different from the one registered the vehicle is legal.