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Arcelor's action rejected by EU General Court

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The EU's General Court on March 1 2010 dismissed an action filed by the world's largest steel maker Arcelor Mittal as inadmissible, and unfounded

Arcelor Mittal bought an action before the Court expresssing discontent with the emission permit scheme outlined in a  European Parliament (EP) Directive. The action sought firstly annulement of certain articles outlined in the EP Directive, and secondly damages in respect of the harm suffered as a result of the adoption of the directive

Arcelor Mittal also sough damages, claiming that the application of the provisions outlined in the Directive will lead to infringement of several principles of Community Law, in particular the principle of equal treatment.

The General Court pointed out that the ECJ  has already held that the directive does not infringe the principle of equal treatment in a separate case.  since the difference in treatment brought about by the exclusion of the chemicals and non-ferrous metals sectors from the scope of the directive is justified by objective criteria

Arcelor Mittal's argument for damages was that the pig iron and steel producers in the EU face a "unique lock-in situation". Arcelor Mittal claim that they are the only ETS sector that faces competition from sectors that are not covered by the directive: non-ferrous metals and plastics.

Directive 2003/87/EC states that If an operator succeeds in reducing its emissions, it may sell its surplus allowances to other operators. Conversely, the operator of an installation, the emissions from which exceed its allowances, may purchase the necessary allowances from an operator which has a surplus.

The company can appeal the ruling within two months.

General Court of The European Union - Full text


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