The maximum validity term of the vignette (road tax) – constitutional
On 28 May 2014 the Constitutional Court delivered its judgment on the constitutionality of certain legal provisions regarding the term of temporary admission on the territory of the Republic of Moldova of the vehicles registered abroad (Complaint No. 47a/2013).
Circumstances of the case
At the origin of the case lies the application submitted to the Constitutional Court on 30 October 2013 by the Ombudsman, Mrs. Aurelia Grigoriu, under the Articles 135 para. (1), lett. a) of the Constitution, 25 lett. i) of the Law on the Constitutional Court and Article 38, para. (1), lett. i) of the Constitutional Jurisdiction Code.
The application was supplemented on 10 January and 27 March 2014.
The challenged provisions are regarding the term of 180 days, which is the maximum admissible in a period of 12 months, of the presence in Moldova of vehicles unregistered in the Republic of Moldova, following their declaration and placement in the custom regime of temporary admission, as well as the mandatory payment of the road tax (vignette) for the use of the Moldovan roads by these vehicles.
The author of the application alleged, in particular, that the challenged provisions are contrary to the Articles 15, 16, 27, 46 and 54 of the Constitution.
The Constitutional Court ruled on the application in the following composition:
Mr Alexandru TĂNASE, President,
Mr Aurel BĂIEŞU,
Mr Igor DOLEA,
Mr Victor POPA,
Mr Petru RĂILEAN, judges
Conclusions of the Court
Hearing the reasoning of the parties and examining the case files, the Court held that the challenged provisions are concerning the maximum admissible validity term of the vignette (road tax), namely 180 days in a period of 12 months.
The Court noted that the vignette represents the tax for the use of the roads in Republic of Moldova by vehicles unregistered in the Republic of Moldova.
The Court emphasized that, based on the constitutional provisions, the regulation of the right to use certain means of transportation introduced in Republic of Moldova, but registered in a foreign state, the compulsory levy of the vignette for the use of roads in the Republic of Moldova, as well as its validity term is within the competence of the legislature.
Simultaneously, the Court noted that the challenged provisions were adopted for the implementation of the Convention on Temporary Admission, adopted in Istanbul on 26 June 1990 and ratified by the Republic of Moldova on 5 December 2008, which provides that the means of transport for private use may remain in the territory of temporary admission for a period, continuous or not, of six months in every period of twelve months.
Therefore, the Court found that no provision of the Constitution was violated.
Judgment of the Court
Starting from the reasoning invoked above, the Constitutional Court:
- rejected the application of the Ombudsman, Mrs. Aurelia Grigoriu, on the constitutionality of certain legal provisions regarding the term of temporary admission on the territory of the Republic of Moldova of the vehicles registered abroad;
- declared constitutional the phrase “in a period of 12 months” of the Articles 10, para. (3) of the Law No. 1569-XV of 20 December 2002 on the import and export of goods on/from the territory of the Republic of Moldova by the individuals, 348/5, para. (1) and (2), lett. e) of the Tax Code and 184/1, para. (1) of the Customs Code, in the version of the Law No. 324 of 23 December 2013 on changing and amending certain legislative acts.
The Judgment of the Constitutional Court is final, cannot be appealed, shall enter into force on the date of passing, and shall be published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Moldova.