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Preliminary ruling by the Court of Justice in Sopeco v. Albatros. The Treaty clauses concerning quantitative restrictions are not self-regulating. Information Memo P-13/65, February 1965

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of th6 Conmlrslon Brussels, FebruarY 1955 P-L1/6' INFORMATION MEJVIO Preliminary ruling by the-Court of. Justise in SopecoJa Al-ba,tros' aty caluses concerning quantita,ti s tri c ti ons not sgl-f The Coutt, of-justice of the European Economic Community has just given its ruLinE in the case "Sopecn v. Albatrosr', which arose as follows:On 9 Maich 1959 the Albafros Company of Rome cntered into a contract to srrpply 6 OOO rnetric tons of petrol per year to the $opeco Company of Paris for importation into France. On 28 April of the 6ame year, Sopeco advised /rlbatros that it had failed to obtain the necessary import licence frorn the French authorj-ties and could not therefore fulfil the contract. Albatros brought an action against Sopeco before the Civi] Tribunal of Rome for breach of contract' The import of petroleum into France is governed by the law of ]O March L928. In i-ts defence, Sopeco submitted that French law in this field was incompatible rvith the IJEC Treaty, in particular with the provisions concerning the elimination of quantitative restrictions. Tts failure to execute the contract was therefore due to'force majeure'. The partj-es having requested an adjournment., the Rome Tribunal srtbmitted f our intcrlocutory cluestions to the Court, the purpose being to establish whether the Treaty provisions on the elimination of cluantitative restrictions (Articles ]0, 31, 12, 31 and' 35) involved abrogation of the J.alvs of the Mernber states in this matter. The Courtrs ruling ---TE-e C6,ffi-d-ddlares j_tse1f competent,having been calfed upon not to rule on the compatibility with the Treaty of Trench 1aw on pctrolcum imports, but tc interpret the Treaty claust s relcvant to the legal iesues raieed by thc Tribunal of Rome' The Court's reply to the questions submitted by the Tribunal is in the negatlve: riNone c-rf the provi.sions of the Treaty referred to by the Tribunaf of Rornc implied that on the entry into force of the Treaty quantitative restrictions, dis

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