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Germany
Country of Decision : Germany
Court Name : DE: Regional Administrative Court [Verwaltungsgerichte]
Date of decision : 10/06/2020
Type : Judgment
ECLI : DE:VGAC:2020:0610.9K2584.19A.00
Case Number/Citation/ Document Symbol : 9 K 2584/19.A

Applicant (Nigeria) v Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF)

Nigeria

DE: Regional Administrative Court held that the suspension of the execution of a deportation order to Italy due to the Covid-19 pandemic does not lead to an extension of the transfer period in accordance with the Dublin III Regulation.

The applicant is a Nigerian national who applied for asylum in Germany in July 2019. Following a EURODAC check it was confirmed that the applicant has previously applied for asylum in Italy in 2017 where he had received a positive decision before moving to Germany. In August 2019 the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) requested Italy to receive the applicant and this request was accepted. By decision of 29 August 2019, BAMF rejected the applicant's asylum application as inadmissible and ordered his transfer to Italy.

The applicant appealed that decision and applied for the suspensive effect of his appeal, which was rejected in October 2019. Germany informed Italy that an appeal with suspensive effect had been lodged on 11 September 2019 and that this suspensive effect was no longer applicable as of 1 October 2019, which is why the transfer period ends on 1 April 2020. In Febuary 2019 the Italian Ministry of the Interior announced via circulars to all Member States' Dublin departments due to the health situation in Italy related to the COVID-19 pandemic, that no more Dublin transfers would be carried out from 25 February 2020, affecting all Member States and all airports in Italy. On 25 March 2020, BAMF suspended the execution of the transfer as not possible due to the COVID-19 crisis until further notice and informed Italy accordingly. On 26 March 2020, the applicat sought to lift the suspension of the transfer and his application in that regard was rejected on 4 May 2020. The applicant filed an appeal to the Regional Administrative Court in Aachen. The court decided that the suspension of the execution of a deportation order to Italy due to the COVID-19 pandemic does not lead to an extension of the transfer period in accordance with the Dublin III Regulation and cancelled the decision of BAMF of 29 August 2019. 

The Court stated that the responsibility for processing the asylum application has passed to Germany following the provision of the Dublin III Regulation stating that the responsibility is transferred to the requesting Member State if the transfer of the applicant has not been carried out within a period of six months. The Court further found that the competent authorities can only suspend the transfer until the appeal or review has been completed and suspension for other reasons is not provided for in the law since the contested decision only took into account the fact that a transfer to Italy was at the time impossible and not any legal protection considerations related to the pending appeal or revision.

 

 

COVID-19/Emergency measures; Dublin procedure; Nigeria;

Dublin Regulation III (Regulation (EU) No 604/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013 establishing the criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining an application for IP);

EASO Courts and Tribunals Network

Germany, Regional Administrative Court [Verwaltungsgerichte], Applicant (Nigeria) v Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF), 9 K 2584/19.A, DE:VGAC:2020:0610.9K2584.19A.00, 10 June 2020. Link redirects to the English summary in the EASO Case Law Database.

https://caselaw.easo.europa.eu/pages/viewcaselaw.aspx?CaseLawID=1336