Directive 2017/22: The Winter Sports Directive
Concerned with the coexistence of different standards between the Member States in relation to the manufacturing of skiing equipment, the EU has adopted Directive 2017/22 (the Winter Sports Directive) (fictitious). The Directive provides that manufacturers of skiing and snowboarding equipment must conduct safety tests of all their equipment, according to the detailed specifications laid down in the Directive. The Directive also sets out the obligation for manufacturers to compensate individuals who get injured as a result of the failure to meet the standards in the Directive. Details are provided in compensation tables included in the annexes to the Directive. The deadline for implementing the Directive was January 2020.
Anne, who lives in Finland and is an experienced skier, has recently bought a cross-country skiing set from the Skiing & Nature Association (SNA) (fictitious). The SNA is an independent non-profit organisation that focuses on the sustainability and the protection of winter habitats, and sells skiing equipment that it manufactures as a means to achieve its goals. The SNA has regulatory powers and has adopted cross-country skiing guidelines for the public.
When Anne was using her new cross-country skis for the first time, theÂ safety mechanism ensuring that the ski boots detach from the skis when required, did not work. As a result, Anne severely injured her legs and is now unable to walk without assistance. The SNA has admitted that the cross-country skiing set was defective within the meaning of the Directive. However, it argues that it has fulfilled its obligations under the Consumer Safety Act 2019 (fictitious). The Act transposes the Directive to Finnish law but explicitly excludes cross-country skiing equipment from the testing requirements. Furthermore, it does not provide for compensation for injuries caused by defective cross-country skiing equipment. However, pursuant to the compensation tables annexed to the Directive, Anne would be entitled to a compensation of â¬10,000 for the injuries sustained.
- Anne would like to get compensation for her injuries but is unsure about her options. Before starting legal proceedings in Finland, she seeks professional advice about the remedies available to her under EU Law. Advise Anne.
- Assume that Anne has started proceedings in the Finnish Court to enforce her rights under the Directive against the SNA. Advise the Finnish Court on its right/duty to seek clarification from the Court of Justice of the European Union under Article 267 TFEU.
The SNA has recently expanded, and it is selling its skiing equipment to several Member States of the European Union. Unfortunately, it has recently experienced problems in several Member States. In Germany, all imported skiing equipment is subject to safety checks on importation on health protection grounds. Also, a fee of 50 cents per unit of any equipment imported is levied. The money raised with the fee is intended to fund actions to support the fight against climate change and to promote a low carbon economy. In Austria, following a series of accidents involving children, a blanket ban on the advertising of skiing equipment for minors is in force.
Advise the SNA as to the compliance of the German and Austrian measures with the EU Law on the free movement of goods.
As part of its expansion campaign the SNA has employed its official representatives in several Member States. Heinrich, who is German, was appointed the SNA representative in Sweden on 31 January 2015. He moved to Stockholm on 28 February 2015. In September 2021, when partying at a nightclub in Stockholm, he was involved in a fist fight which resulted in several customers being injured. He is now prosecuted for vandalism and the prosecution service has requested his immediate deportation upon release from prison if he is convicted. His wife Jane, an American citizen, has been contemplating filing for divorce for a while. She is, however, very concerned how the divorce would affect her rights of movement within the European Union. Jane moved to Sweden with Heinrich in March 2015 and has worked full time in Sweden since.
Advise Heinrich and Jane as to their free movement rights under EU Law.
Reflect on your learning experience in relation to the EU Law module throughout the term. For example, reflect on how the activities in the lectures and tutorials, the formative opportunities provided, the feedback received, the drop-in session(s) and the revision classes, have supported your learning. Also, consider the way in which you have engaged with key legislative provisions, key cases, and other relevant materials.