The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has been advised that refuse collection trucks should come within the scope of the truck cartel, along with other specialised vehicles.

The European Commission (EC) imposed fines on truck manufacturers for breach of competition rules in 2016, stating that the products affected by the infringement were medium and heavy trucks, whether rigid or tractor units, but excluded trucks for military use.

Following a dispute as to whether or not refuse vehicles were covered by the EC decision in a claim brought against Daimler in Germany, the court referred the matter to the ECJ.

The advocate general assigned to the case, Laila Medina, has now advised that the scope of the EC’s decision included refuse trucks.

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According to Backhouse Jones’ head of commercial litigation, Steven Meyerhoff, the advocate general’s opinion meant other specialised vehicles, such as concrete mixing trucks, tipper chassis and flatbed chassis will also have been among the vehicles affected by the cartel.

    Meyerhoff, who is representing the RHA in its proposed collective action against the truck manufacturers, said: “We are pleased with the opinion of the advocate general and hope that it is adopted by the ECJ in due course.

    “It reflects our belief and understanding that the fundamental components that make up the various types of vehicles are the same hence why operators of refuse and other specialist vehicles, only with the exception of military vehicles, are permitted to join the RHA’s proposed action.”

    Scania recently lost its fight against a decision by the EC to fine it for its involvement in the cartel, after it chose not to settle.