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Success stories

This selection of success stories provided by the Member States shows the potential benefits of using the various Single Market tools. The success stories refer to concrete cases and may inspire other Member States when faced with a similar problem.

 

Czech and German authorities cooperate on trade licences for entrepreneurs (CZ – IMI)

The Chamber of Crafts in Dortmund (Germany) asked us whether an entrepreneur had a Czech trade licence for a particular activity. We quickly provided the information requested. We found the cooperation via the IMI system very useful and effective. We will not hesitate to use IMI again.

Trade Licencing Office, Czech Republic

 

Cypriot authorities able to verify qualifications of Romanian physiotherapist (CY – IMI)

A Romanian citizen with permanent residence in Cyprus applied to us for permission to work as a physiotherapist in Cyprus. We were not sure about his qualifications, so we applied, through IMI, to the competent authority in Romania for further information. After a few weeks, the Romanian authority answered that he was not a physiotherapist but a teacher of physical education. Based on this information, we did not give him permission to work as a physiotherapist as he was not qualified.

Physiotherapists' Registration Board, Cyprus

 

Hungarian authorities get speedy answers on Slovak travel agency (HU – IMI)

A Slovakian travel agency wanted to provide cross-border services in Hungary. We needed to know if the agency exercised its activities in a lawful manner in its Member State of establishment. So we sent a request through IMI and asked our Slovakian colleagues about the representation of the company, which they confirmed the same day. We had some difficulties in understanding each other's interpretation of the financial background of the company, so we exchanged two or three pieces of information in a single day. We were logged onto the system all the time! Based on our experiences we can confirm that IMI really ensures quick communication between authorities.  

Trade Licensing Office, Hungary

 

Slovenian tourist guide able to operate in Italy (SI – IMI)

A Slovenian tourist guide informed the Italian authorities about his intention to accompany Slovenian tourists to Italy. The Italian Department for the development of tourism wanted to know in its request through IMI if he was a licensed tourist guide and if the documents he presented were authentic. The scanned documents were attached to the request. We were able to confirm both facts the same day

Tourism and Hospitality Chamber, Slovenia

 

Finnish, Estonian and Polish labour authorities work together on posted workers (FI – IMI)

IMI made our lives easier. Finnish labour inspectors occasionally have difficulties with foreign employers if they don't provide the required documents, e.g. employment contracts of posted workers, records of hours worked or records of wages paid for work. In these cases Finland used IMI to ask for help from Estonian and Polish authorities, who were able to help us immediately. We think that IMI is a good system which makes it a lot easier to contact foreign authorities.

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Finland

 

German company receives tax refund (DE - SOLVIT)

A German construction company requested a VAT refund from the Spanish authorities, but the request remained unanswered for more than a year. This is in breach of the applicable EU rules. Thanks to SOLVIT's intervention, the procedure was speeded up and the company received the amount it had asked for.

German and Spanish authorities cooperate on health insurance questions (DE - SOLVIT)

A Spanish national had to be hospitalised when he was on holidays in Germany. Since he could present his European Health insurance card, he didn't have to pay the costs of the surgery and the hospital stay. However, upon his return back home, he received an invoice from the German Insurance for an amount of € 795. The applicant paid the invoice and claim reimbursement to the Spanish health insurance.

According to EU law, the health treatments received in Germany must be covered under the same conditions and at the same cost as people insured in Germany. When the Spanish authorities contacted their German counterpart to enquire about the amount that would be paid under the German system they were informed that only € 26.77 would be covered. The applicant therefore received that amount.

This was however a mistake. The German authorities considered that the expenses claimed were independent from the stay in the hospital and since they were not accompanied by the doctor's prescription or the invoice, they could not be reimbursed. SOLVIT intervened to clarify that the costs were connected to the treatment received in the hospital, had been prescribed by the hospital's doctors and had not been purchased by the patient.

Spanish company gets approval to sell its products on the French market (ES - SOLVIT)

A Spanish company producing fertilizers had problems in getting the approval to sell its product on the French market, while the product was already marketed in Belgium. The French authorities did not apply the EU rules on mutual recognition correctly and the company received a negative answer.  Thanks to the intervention of SOLVIT the competent authorities did deliver in the end an authorisation to sell the product in France in accordance with the rules. 

French company able to commercialize its product in Portugal (FR - SOLVIT)

A French company produced a device which can be installed in car engines to save fuel and decrease CO2 emissions. The company was selling its product in various EU countries and wanted to introduce its product in the Portuguese market. However, the responsible Portuguese authority did not authorize the installation of the device in Portuguese vehicles. According to the EU principle of mutual recognition, products that have been lawfully manufactured and marketed in other EU countries should not be refused entry in the market of another EU country.

Upon SOLVIT intervention, the matter was clarified and the Portuguese Institute for Mobility and Transport agreed to approve the French product, which can now be commercialized in Portugal.

French authorities recognise Spanish physiotherapist’s professional qualifications (FR - SOLVIT)

A Spanish physiotherapist moved to France and asked for the recognition of his professional qualifications. The French authorities examined his application and decided that there were substantial differences between the formation followed by the complainant and the French formation. They decided that the complainant needed to follow an extra formation on two subjects.

The complainant turned to SOLVIT indicating that he had already followed extra formation on the two subjects indicated in the decision of the French authority and that this had not been taken into account.

According to the EU law, when assessing such an application, all experience needs to be taken into account by the authorities before deciding whether there is a need for compensatory measures.

After the SOLVIT intervention, the French authorities have reviewed their decision and granted the recognition.

Cypriot authority issues residence documents for Swedish citizen’s family (CY - SOLVIT)

A Swedish citizen moved to Cyprus together with his non EU spouse and applied for a registration certificate as well as for a residence card for the non EU spouse. The Cypriot authorities asked for a lot of documents to be presented in order to issue the two documents.

As  EU law states very clearly the documents that can be required by the MS in order to issue the residence documents for EU citizens and their non EU family members, following the intervention of SOLVIT, the Cypriot authorities assessed the requests based on the documents indicated in the EU legislation and issued the residence documents.

UK national gets visa for his family (UK - SOLVIT)

A UK national living in Lagos wanted to travel to Malta together with her child and non EU spouse. The applications for visas for the child and the non EU spouse were refused based on the fact that they had not indicated the purpose of the journey nor offer any guarantee that they would leave Malta when the visa expired. These requests are not in line with EU law. The only conditions that can be asked are proof of the family link with the EU citizen and proof that that the EU citizen travels together or will join the third country citizen at the place of destination. Following the intervention of SOLVIT, the complainant reapplied and the visa was issued.