CNP spółka z ograniczoną odpowiedzialnością v Gefion Insurance A/S.

JurisdictionEuropean Union
ECLIECLI:EU:C:2021:399
Docket NumberC-913/19
Date20 May 2021
Celex Number62019CJ0913
CourtCourt of Justice (European Union)

Provisional text

JUDGMENT OF THE COURT (Third Chamber)

20 May 2021(*)

(Reference for a preliminary ruling – Judicial cooperation in civil matters – Jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters – Regulation (EU) No 1215/2012 – Jurisdiction in insurance matters – Article 10 – Article 11(1)(a) – Ability to sue an insurer domiciled in a Member State in another Member State, in the case of actions brought by the policyholder, the insured person or a beneficiary, in the courts of the place where the person bringing the claim is domiciled – Article 13(2) – Action brought by the injured party directly against the insurer – Scope ratione personae – Concept of ‘injured party’ – Business active in the insurance sector – Special jurisdiction – Article 7(2) and (5) – Concept of ‘branch’, ‘agency’ or ‘other establishment’)

In Case C‑913/19,

REQUEST for a preliminary ruling under Article 267 TFEU from the Sąd Rejonowy w Białymstoku (District Court, Białystok, Poland), made by decision of 18 November 2019, received at the Court on 13 December 2019, in the proceedings

CNP spółka z ograniczoną odpowiedzialnością

v

Gefion Insurance A/S,

THE COURT (Third Chamber),

composed of A. Prechal, President of the Chamber, N. Wahl, F. Biltgen, L.S. Rossi (Rapporteur) and J. Passer, Judges,

Advocate General: M. Campos Sánchez-Bordona,

Registrar: A. Calot Escobar,

having regard to the written procedure,

after considering the observations submitted on behalf of:

– CNP spółka z ograniczoną odpowiedzialnością, by K. Janiec-Janowska, radca prawny,

– Gefion Insurance A/S, by I. Łyszkiewicz, radca prawny,

– the Polish Government, by B. Majczyna, acting as Agent,

– the European Commission, by M. Heller and B. Sasinowska, acting as Agents,

after hearing the Opinion of the Advocate General at the sitting on 14 January 2021,

gives the following

Judgment

1 This request for a preliminary ruling concerns the interpretation of Article 13(2), read in conjunction with Article 10 and Article 7(2) and (5), of Regulation (EU) No 1215/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2012 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (OJ 2012 L 351, p. 1).

2 The request has been made in proceedings between CNP spółka z ograniczoną odpowiedzialnością (‘CNP’), a limited liability company established in Poland, and Gefion Insurance A/S (‘Gefion’), an insurance undertaking with its registered office in Denmark, concerning compensation for damage caused by a road traffic accident which occurred in Poland.

Legal context

European Union law

Regulation No 1215/2012

3 Recitals 15, 18 and 34 of Regulation No 1215/2012 state:

‘(15) The rules of jurisdiction should be highly predictable and founded on the principle that jurisdiction is generally based on the defendant’s domicile. Jurisdiction should always be available on this ground save in a few well-defined situations in which the subject matter of the dispute or the autonomy of the parties warrants a different connecting factor. The domicile of a legal person must be defined autonomously so as to make the common rules more transparent and avoid conflicts of jurisdiction.

(18) In relation to insurance, consumer and employment contracts, the weaker party should be protected by rules of jurisdiction more favourable to his interests than the general rules.

(34) Continuity between the [Convention on jurisdiction and the enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters dated 27 September 1968 (OJ 1978 L 304, p. 36), as amended by the successive conventions on the accession of new Member States to that convention], [Council] Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 [of 22 December 2000 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (OJ 2001 L 12, p. 1)] and this Regulation should be ensured, and transitional provisions should be laid down to that end. The same need for continuity applies as regards the interpretation by the Court of Justice of the European Union of [that] Convention and of the Regulations replacing it.’

4 Chapter II of Regulation No 1215/2012, dealing with ‘Jurisdiction’, includes Section 1, entitled ‘General provisions’, which contains Articles 4 to 6 of that regulation.

5 Article 4(1) of that regulation provides:

‘Subject to this Regulation, persons domiciled in a Member State shall, whatever their nationality, be sued in the courts of that Member State.’

6 Under Article 5(1) of Regulation No 1215/2012:

‘Persons domiciled in a Member State may be sued in the courts of another Member State only by virtue of the rules set out in Sections 2 to 7 of this Chapter.’

7 Section 2 of Chapter II of that regulation, entitled ‘Special jurisdiction’, contains, inter alia, Article 7 of the regulation, which states:

‘A person domiciled in a Member State may be sued in another Member State:

(2) in matters relating to tort, delict or quasi-delict, in the courts for the place where the harmful event occurred or may occur;

(5) as regards a dispute arising out of the operations of a branch, agency or other establishment, in the courts for the place where the branch, agency or other establishment is situated;

…’

8 Section 3 of Chapter II of Regulation No 1215/2012, under the heading ‘Jurisdiction in matters relating to insurance’, comprises Articles 10 to 16 of that regulation.

9 Article 10 of that regulation is worded as follows:

‘In matters relating to insurance, jurisdiction shall be determined by this Section, without prejudice to Article 6 and point 5 of Article 7.’

10 Article 11(1) of Regulation No 1215/2012 provides:

‘An insurer domiciled in a Member State may be sued:

(a) in the courts of the Member State in which he is domiciled;

(b) in another Member State, in the case of actions brought by the policyholder, the insured or a beneficiary, in the courts for the place where the claimant is domiciled; or

…’

11 Article 12 of that regulation states:

‘In respect of liability insurance or insurance of immovable property, the insurer may in addition be sued in the courts for the place where the harmful event occurred. The same applies if movable and immovable property are covered by the same insurance policy and both are adversely affected by the same contingency.’

12 Article 13(1) and (2) of that regulation provides:

‘1. In respect of liability insurance, the insurer may also, if the law of the court permits it, be joined in proceedings which the injured party has brought against the insured.

2. Articles 10, 11 and 12 shall apply to actions brought by the injured party directly against the insurer, where such direct actions are permitted.’

Directive 2009/138/EC

13 Article 145 of Directive 2009/138/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2009 on the taking-up and pursuit of the business of Insurance and Reinsurance (Solvency II) (OJ 2009 L 335, p. 1), entitled ‘Conditions for branch establishment’, provides in paragraph 1:

‘Member States shall ensure that an insurance undertaking which proposes to establish a branch within the territory of another Member State notifies the supervisory authorities of its home Member State.

Any permanent presence of an undertaking in the territory of a Member State shall be treated in the same way as a branch, even where that presence does not take the form of a branch, but consists merely of an office managed by the own staff of the undertaking or by a person who is independent but has permanent authority to act for the undertaking as an agency would.’

14 Article 151 of that directive, entitled ‘Non-discrimination of persons pursuing claims’ states:

‘The host Member State shall require the non-life insurance undertaking to ensure that persons pursuing claims arising out of events occurring in its territory are not placed in a less favourable situation as a result of the fact that the undertaking is covering a risk, other than carrier’s liability, classified under class 10 in Part A of Annex I by way of provision of services rather than through an establishment situated in that State.’

15 Article 152 of that directive, entitled ‘Representative’, provides:

‘1. For the purposes referred to in Article 151, the host Member State shall require the non-life insurance undertaking to appoint a representative resident or established in its territory who shall collect all necessary information in relation to claims, and shall possess sufficient powers to represent the undertaking in relation to persons suffering damage who could pursue claims, including the payment of such claims, and to represent it or, where necessary, to have it represented before the courts and authorities of that Member State in relation to those claims.

3. The appointment of the representative shall not in itself constitute the opening of a branch for the purpose of Article 145.

…’

Polish law

16 In accordance with Article 1099 of the kodeks postępowania cywilnego (Code of Civil Procedure), the court before which the action is brought is to examine of its own motion, at any stage of the proceedings, whether the national courts lack jurisdiction to hear the dispute, and declare the application inadmissible in the event of lack of jurisdiction. A finding that national courts do not have jurisdiction constitutes a ground of invalidity of the proceedings.

The dispute in the main proceedings and the questions referred for a preliminary...

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3 practice notes
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    • Court of Justice (European Union)
    • 14 September 2023
    ...per il regolamento Bruxelles I bis quando tali disposizioni possono essere qualificate come «equivalenti» (sentenza del 20 maggio 2021, CNP, C‑913/19, EU:C:2021:399, punto 30 e giurisprudenza ivi 42 Occorre altresì ricordare che le norme sulla competenza in materia di contratti conclusi dai......
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    • 30 June 2022
    ...válida para las disposiciones del Reglamento n.º 1215/2012 que puedan calificarse de «equivalentes» (sentencia de 20 de mayo de 2021, CNP, C‑913/19, EU:C:2021:399, apartado 30 y jurisprudencia 21 Pues bien, el Tribunal de Justicia ya ha declarado que existe tal equivalencia entre el artícul......
  • T.B. and D. sp. z. o. o. v G. I. A/S.
    • European Union
    • Court of Justice (European Union)
    • 21 October 2021
    ...les articles 10 à 16 de ce règlement, sans préjudice de l’article 6 et de l’article 7, point 5, dudit règlement (arrêt du 20 mai 2021, CNP, C‑913/19, EU:C:2021:399, points 32 et 33). 30 Par ailleurs, en vertu de l’article 13, paragraphe 2, du règlement nº 1215/2012, les articles 10 à 12 de ......
3 cases
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    • European Union
    • Court of Justice (European Union)
    • 30 June 2022
    ...Nr. 1215/2012 gilt, soweit die betreffenden Bestimmungen als „gleichwertig“ angesehen werden können (Urteil vom 20. Mai 2021, CNP, C‑913/19, EU:C:2021:399, Rn. 30 und die dort angeführte 21 Der Gerichtshof hat bereits entschieden, dass eine solche Gleichwertigkeit zwischen Art. 9 Abs. 1 Buc......
  • NM v CLC Resort Management LTD and Others.
    • European Union
    • Court of Justice (European Union)
    • 14 September 2023
    ...per il regolamento Bruxelles I bis quando tali disposizioni possono essere qualificate come «equivalenti» (sentenza del 20 maggio 2021, CNP, C‑913/19, EU:C:2021:399, punto 30 e giurisprudenza ivi 42 Occorre altresì ricordare che le norme sulla competenza in materia di contratti conclusi dai......
  • T.B. and D. sp. z. o. o. v G. I. A/S.
    • European Union
    • Court of Justice (European Union)
    • 21 October 2021
    ...les articles 10 à 16 de ce règlement, sans préjudice de l’article 6 et de l’article 7, point 5, dudit règlement (arrêt du 20 mai 2021, CNP, C‑913/19, EU:C:2021:399, points 32 et 33). 30 Par ailleurs, en vertu de l’article 13, paragraphe 2, du règlement nº 1215/2012, les articles 10 à 12 de ......

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