The European Union (EU) Court of Justice has ordered Spain to pay a sum of €3m for the delay in liberalising the country's port cargo-handling sector in accordance with EU law.
The penalty follows the court’s initial judgement that was delivered on 11 December 2014, which ruled that Spain had failed to fulfil its obligations and had infringed on the principle of freedom of establishment.
Spain was subsequently fined for not modifying the country's rules governing workers with regard to the provision of port cargo-handling services.
The Spanish legislation being enforced at that time required other member states’ undertakings to register with a public limited dockers’ management company, and recruit workers provided by that company if interested in conducting cargo-handling activities in Spanish ports.
Spain failed to ensure compliance with the 2014 judgment, which led the EC to issue a second action against the country, including the imposition of a lump sum penalty payment.
The amount to be paid has been calculated by multiplying the daily amount of €27,522 by the number of days the infringement has continued since the judgement.
Spain adopted a new legislation that went into effect on 14 May 2017 following the judgement, and has taken all the steps necessary to ensure compliance with the 2014 judgment. However, the court found that Spain had not taken the necessary measures by the set deadline.
Spain has agreed to pay the penalty amount into the EU budget.