We always see each other – usually twice!

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This or similar could be the description of the outcome of a court hearing on 18 May 2021 at the Munich I Regional Court.

The fact that in this legal dispute between the company ALUGAS Vertrieb von Gasflaschen GmbH & Co.KG and others and the Deutscher Verband Flüssiggas e.V. (German Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association) for failure to act, an amicable agreement was not reached straight away, was also to be expected due to the previous extensive correspondence between the parties. Of course, the judges also had a very difficult evidence situation in mind here. After all, it was about technology, directives and regulations, in their interpretation and application, vis-à-vis the consumer or motor caravan and caravan owner, and thus also their effects on main inspections according to §29 StVZO in connection with gas system inspections according to the DVGW G 607 worksheet, in addition to the refusal of inspection stickers during a main inspection. Of course, the judges had a very large amount of work to do here.

Without going into details, the court gave both parties some homework for the next six weeks. What will happen after that will be finally decided and announced by the district court at the next session. Of course, the current assumption is that if no agreement can be reached after six weeks, the matter will be brought before the Higher Regional Court. Until then, the parties will have a lot to do.

However, it is already clear that the court will most likely ask the legislators, including the upper state authorities (market surveillance) and the federal government (market surveillance KBA), for a clear statement on the matter. Of course, this is also part of finding the truth in courts, in a constitutional state. The judges have spent a lot of effort and time to bring clarity to the matter, as is unfortunately not always the case elsewhere. Of course, this should not go unmentioned at this point.

Since the author of this letter will have to make further visits to the courts in the coming weeks, mind you in similar cases, customers and owners of motor caravans and caravans are now suing “inspection organisations” for exceeding their competences and unauthorised activities. In this case, because of the refusal of inspection stickers in the context of main inspections according to § 29 StVZO. Of course, it has to be said once again by the author that the responsible legislators at the federal and state levels were informed of all these abuses but did nothing to find legally compliant solutions in the matter. Now that the courts are taking action, sitting it out will soon be a thing of the past. The EU legislature in Brussels has also reacted now that it is in charge, as it announced in Framework Regulation 2018/858, and has also made it clear with Regulation (EU) 2019/1020 where the journey is heading in the future. The author is certain that those who do not now pursue their obligatory work as market supervisors will perhaps have to deal with many proceedings from Brussels in the future.

After a failure of the proceedings at the Regional Court in Munich, one will meet again and this is foreseeable in the next instance at the Higher Regional Court.

gez. Peter Ziegler (spectator in these proceedings)

 

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