Italy: Costi Minimi Dei Servizi Di Trasporto E Libera Concorrenza: La Recente Decisione Della Corte Europea

Last Updated: 22 October 2014

Article by Anna Masutti and Isabella Colucci1

Minimum transport services costs and free competition: the recent European Court decision

Con la lungamente attesa sentenza del 4 settembre 2014, la Corte di Giustizia dell'Unione europea si è pronunciata sulla compatibilità della normativa italiana che ha introdotto i c.d."costi minimi" di esercizio dell'autotrasporto con i principi di libertà di concorrenza, libera circolazione delle imprese e della libertà di stabilimento e di prestazione di servizi sanciti dall'ordinamento comunitario.

La legge 4 agosto n.127/2010, di conversione, con modificazioni, del decreto-legge 6 luglio 2010, n. 103, recante disposizioni urgenti per assicurare la regolarità del servizio pubblico di trasporto marittimo,aveva apportato fondamentali modifiche alla disciplina vigente in materia di trasporti con il dichiarato obiettivo di garantire (attraverso l'introduzione un costo minimo chilometrico) la regolarità del mercato dell'autotrasporto merci per conto terzie la tutela della sicurezza stradale. Il nuovo sistema normativo ha imposto un tariffario minimo obbligatorio per i servizi di trasporto merci allo scopo di coprire i costi "vivi" sostenuti dai vettori ( quali, ad esempio, il costo del carburante, pedaggi autostradali, assicurazione, etc.),con l'effetto di sottrarre all'autonomia negoziale delle parti la libera determinazione del prezzo del trasporto.

La nuova versione dell' art. 83bis ha difatti stabilito che, nel contratto di trasporto, l'importo a favore del vettore deve sostanzialmente essere tale da consentire almeno la copertura dei costi minimi di esercizio, ovvero quei costi in grado di garantire, comunque, il rispetto dei parametri di sicurezza previsti a livello normativo.E' stato quindi previsto un complesso calcolo aritmetico per l'individuazione di tali costi minimi,demandato inizialmente all'Osservatorio sulle attività di autotrasporto, in seno alla Consulta, ea decorrere da agosto 2012,direttamente al Ministero delle Infrastrutture e dei Trasporti.

La questione pregiudiziale innanzi alla Corte di Giustizia che ha dato origine alla sentenza in commento era stata sollevata in data 13 gennaio 2013 dal Tar del Lazio, organo innanzi al quale le principali organizzazioni imprenditoriali italiane avevano presentato molteplici ricorsi chiedendo l'annullamento delle determinazioni sui costi minimi di esercizio adottate dall'Osservatorio. Secondo i ricorrenti, infatti, la fissazione di tariffe minime per i servizi di trasporto costituiva una restrizione alla libera concorrenza lesiva del diritto dalla libera prestazione ed il diritto di stabilimento.

A tale riguardo i giudici europei, richiamando principi già espressi in tema di tariffe a forcella2, hanno ricordato che le regole in materia di tutela della concorrenza debbono ritenersi violate ogniqualvolta uno Stato membro imponga o agevoli la conclusione di intese vietate, rafforzi gli effetti di tali intese oppure revochi alla propria normativa il suo carattere pubblico, delegando ad operatori privati la responsabilità di adottare decisioni di intervento in materia economica.

In virtù di tale osservazione e alla luce dell'analisi della normativa controversa, la Corte ha statuito che l'Osservatorio è da considerarsi un'associazione d'imprese direttamente soggetta alle regole della concorrenza. Tale organismo infatti, oltre ad essere composto prevalentemente da rappresentanti di associazioni di categoria,ha ampi margini di discrezionalità nella determinazione dei suddetti costi, posto che la normativa nazionale che ha istituito la Consulta e l'Osservatorio non precisa i principi direttivi a cui tali organi devono attenersi e non contiene nessuna norma atta ad impedire ai rappresentanti delle organizzazioni di categoria di agire nell'esclusivo interesse della categoria stessa.

Di conseguenza,la normativa italiana in virtù della quale sono stati determinati dall'Osservatorio i costi minimi d'esercizio per l'autotrasporto è idonea a restringere il gioco della concorrenza nel mercato interno, in quanto limitativa della libertà degli attori del mercato di determinare il prezzo dei servizi di trasporto di merci su strada.

Prosegue quindi la Corte di Giustizia richiamando che uno Stato membro può limitare le regole della concorrenza, senza ricadere necessariamente sotto il divieto sancito dall'articolo 101 TFUE, anche mediante una determinazione assunta da un'associazione di imprese.Tuttavia,a tal fine, è necessario che l'associazione agisca a tutela di un interesse generale - mediante un'azione vincolata e stabilita per legge - e che la restrizione della concorrenza sia giustificata da un obiettivo legittimo.

In questo caso, la determinazione di costi minimi non risulterebbe idonea, né direttamente né indirettamente, a garantire il conseguimento dell'obiettivo legittimo fatto valere dall'Italia con la normativa in questione, ovvero la tutela della sicurezza stradale.Pur essendo ipotizzabile che la tutela della sicurezza stradale possa costituire un obiettivo legittimo, a parere della Corte, la normativa nazionale si limiterebbe a prendere in considerazione tale aspetto in maniera generica, senza stabilire un nesso tra i costi minimi d'esercizio e il conseguente rafforzamento della sicurezza stradale.

Tenuto conto di tali considerazioni la Corte giunge,quindi,a dichiarare l'incompatibilità della normativa italiana controversa nei procedimenti principali con l'ordinamento europeo in materia di libera concorrenza.

La portata vincolante della pronuncia pregiudiziale impone un adeguamento dell'attuale quadro normativo in attuazione dei principi enunciati dalla Corte.Sono inoltre prevedibili ripercussioni anche sulla validità e sull'efficacia dei contratti di autotrasporto e sui rapporti giuridici che in passato hanno avuto ad oggetto l'applicazione dei prezzi fissati dall'Osservatorio, in luogo di quelli liberamente negoziati dalle parti.

È tuttavia da segnalare che la sentenza in commento lascia ancora spazio a dubbi sull'applicabilità dell'attuale sistema normativo a quei servizi di trasporto che abbiano avuto esecuzione dopo l'agosto 2012, sulla base delle determinazioni dei costi pubblicati dal Ministero delle Infrastrutture e dei Trasporti e non esaminate dalla Corte. Come già rilevato, infatti, l'attuale versione dell'articolo 83 bis, è stato modificato per effetto del decreto leggen. 95/2012che ha soppresso la Consulta Generale dell'autotrasporto e i suoi organi, trasferendo il compito di fissare i predetti costi minimi direttamente al Ministero delle Infrastrutture e dei Trasporti.

Non resta quindi che attendere la decisione del Tar del Lazioe della Corte Costituzionale per comprendere la sorte della normativa in esame in ambito nazionale.

Footnotes

1 Studio Legale LS Lexjus Sinacta Milano,Bologna

2 Sentenza Centro Servizi Spediporto(EU:C:1995:308) e sentenza Librandi(C-38/97, EU:C:1998:454).

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

 
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration
Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:
  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.
  • Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.
    If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here
    If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here

    Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

    Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

    Use of www.mondaq.com

    You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.

    Disclaimer

    Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

    The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.

    Registration

    Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

    • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
    • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
    • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

    Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

    Information Collection and Use

    We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

    We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

    Mondaq News Alerts

    In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.

    Cookies

    A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

    Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

    Log Files

    We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.

    Links

    This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

    Surveys & Contests

    From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.

    Mail-A-Friend

    If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.

    Emails

    From time to time Mondaq may send you emails promoting Mondaq services including new services. You may opt out of receiving such emails by clicking below.

    *** If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here .

    Security

    This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

    Correcting/Updating Personal Information

    If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

    Notification of Changes

    If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

    How to contact Mondaq

    You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

    If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.

    By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions