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Parliamentary questions
26 June 2013
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 117
Ria Oomen-Ruijten (PPE) , Corien Wortmann-Kool (PPE)

 Subject:  Dutch vehicle registration plates

Under Dutch law, a Dutch vehicle registration plate must be made of aluminium, and the registration mark must be stamped into the plate in relief. Moreover, the production, issuing and return of registration plates are regulated in the administrative system GAIK. GAIK is an open system, open to all certified businesses and producers throughout the EU, so that consumers have a free choice as to where to buy their own registration plates.

In various EU Member States, registration plates may be produced and used which are made of either metal or plastic; moreover, the registration mark is printed on them digitally, electronically (rather than being stamped into them). Such registration plates are permitted and certified in a number of Member States but nonetheless are not permitted on the Dutch market. The Netherlands justifies this purely on technical and physical grounds.

One Dutch distributor wishes to start importing from the United Kingdom components, producer goods and semi-finished products for production of these non-stamped registration plates. It is important to note that the ultimate (end) production of the registration plate, the printing and attachment of the registration mark on it and the issuing of the registration plate in the Netherlands will comply with the rules of the GAIK system and be performed by existing Dutch businesses which are already recognised and certified.

Pursuant to Article 36 of the Treaty, restrictions may only be imposed on the importation of products on grounds of public morality, public policy, public security, the protection of health and life of humans, animals or plants, the protection of national treasures possessing artistic, historic or archaeological value or the protection of industrial and commercial property.

Does the Commission consider that registration plates fall under Article 36 of the Treaty? If so, in which field? If not, must the Netherlands therefore simply permit the use of these registration plates on its market pursuant to Article 34 of the Treaty?

Original language of question: NLOJ C 55 E, 26/02/2014
Last updated: 11 July 2013Legal notice