CIN gained time for fines imposed by Italian Ministry of Infrastructures and Transports
Suspension of 50% of the payment related to the sanctions due to the deployment of ships not meeting the minimum requirements, has been obtained, while the Regional Administrative Court suggested an amendment of the Convention
With four orders, the Regional Administrative Court of Rome partially accepted – postponing half of the payment to after the hearing on the merits (July 2019) – CIN Tirrenia’s (Onorato Armatori) appeals against the penalties imposed by the Italian Ministry of Infrastructures and Transports (amounting to 100,000-300,000 euro) for the infringement of several obligations under the Convention governing – on the basis of a contribution of over 72 million euro per year – the terms of supply of territorial continuity public services.
The Ministry objected the failure to meet the requirements provided for on the part of the ferries Moby Tommy and Bonaria, deployed on the Civitavecchia-Olbia line between January the 1rst and the 31st 2018, of the ferry Moby Corse, deployed on the Civitavecchia-Cagliari-Arbatax line between January the 23rd and February the 28th 2018, and of Moby Tommy, deployed on the Civitavecchia-Olbia line throughout February 2018. In particular, the non-conformity concerned their capacity, as it was lower than provided for by the Convention.
The Regional Administrative Court established that the reasons adduced by CIN did not fall within those provided for under the Convention to justify the use of a unit with different characteristics, rather they were ascribable to “autonomous business choices (scheduled maintenance of units, less passengers in the historical period) that are not consistent with the execution of the public service”.
Nevertheless, on the basis of the “asserted (and not yet objected) compliance with transport demands” pleaded by CIN, the Regional Administrative Court assumed that the Convention overestimates the demand, thus suggesting, even to the Ministry, to revise its terms, ordering “the parties, on an interim basis, to ascertain the possibility to jointly amend – taking into account the public service nature of the object of the Convention – the contractual clauses governing minimum requirements for naval units, also for the purposes of a better coordination favouring their interpretation and application, in light of the complaints included in the appeal”.
Who knows whether next year, when it must redefine the clauses of the Convention expiring in July 2020, the Ministry will apply to the judges of the Regional Administrative Court of Rome rather than to its experts?