ECJ Fishing – Common structural policy – Conservation of the resources of the sea – Fishing quota system – Regulation by a Member State of the use of its quotas – Grant of licences – Conditions for ensuring that a real economic link exists between vessels and the State concerned – Requirement for vessels to operate from national ports – Means of proof – Landing of a proportion of the vessel’ s catches and its periodic presence in national ports – Whether permissible – Conditions – Amendment of the national rules relating to the grant of licences – Principle of the protection of legitimate expectation – Breach – None (Council Regulation No 101/76, Art. 2(1), No 2057/82, Arts 6(1) and 9(1), No 170/83, Arts 4 and 5(2) and No 172/83)
Community law as it now stands does not preclude a Member State, in issuing to one of its vessels a licence authorizing it to fish against national quotas, from laying down conditions designed to ensure that the vessel has a real economic link with that State if that link concerns only the relations between the vessel’ s fishing operations and the populations dependent on fisheries and related industries or from laying down the condition, in order to ensure that there is such a link, that the vessel is to operate from national ports, if that condition does not involve an obligation for the vessel to depart from a national port on all its fishing trips. The Member State concerned is entitled to consider that proof of compliance with that condition may be provided by the landing of a proportion of catches or by the periodic presence of the vessel in national ports and may accept, as evidence that the vessel operates from national ports, only the landing of a specified proportion of the vessel’ s catches or a specified periodic presence of the vessel in national ports, provided that the frequency with which the vessel is required to be present in those ports does not impose, directly or indirectly, an obligation to land the vessel’ s catches in national ports or hinder normal fishing operations. The fact that in a Member State the conditions for granting fishing licences authorizing fishing against national quotas are made more restrictive while remaining compatible with Community law does not constitute a breach of the protection owed to the legitimate expectation of traders.
C-216/87, R-216/87,  EUECJ R-216/87
European, Agriculture, Licensing
Updated: 23 May 2022; Ref: scu.134673