TECHNICAL STANDARDS. The home improvement retailer ran a big risk : to be placed on the market of construction products not bearing the CE marking between 2014 and 2015, Leroy Merlin was in the police court of Lille, where a fine of an amount unheard of 2.6 billion euros could be imposed. But the procedure was eventually cancelled. Master Philippe Simoneau, counsel for the company, we are enlightened.
Leroy Merlin has been hot : the company escaped a fine record, which would have been fatal, for a labeling problem missing. Master Philippe Simoneau, his lawyer, said : “The offence with which he was charged was to be made available to the construction market of products not bearing the CE marking. Even if these products were compliant and non-hazardous. It was not, therefore, a deceptive business practice“. However, the Direction départementale de protection des populations (DDPP) was found, in 2014-2015, the absence of the indispensable lapel badge on a tube of putty-mark Axton, produced in Germany to the account of Leroy Merlin.
A fine multiplied by 1.18 million offences…
A violation of the code of the Consumption and to the european directives potentially costly for society, as explained by the lawyer : “The minutes, drawn up in march 2016, by the DDPP was based on tests carried out in a few stores and at the headquarters of the company. It advances a number of 1.184.440 articles without a label, revenue from sales and stocks provided by Leroy Merlin“. The amount of the fine of € 450 per offence found to a natural person, would have been multiplied by 5 for a corporation, 2.250 € per tube sold, which led to an assessment of 2.66 Bn € ! “It was the maximum amount of incurred, but the amount of€ 5.9 M, corresponding to 5 € per offence, had been retained“, says Master Simoneau. A sum very substantial.
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But the sign disputes the number of violations real : “In criminal matters, one cannot reason by analogy. What were the products with no label ? What batch ? What are the references ? In what stores ? The summons and the summons in court did not contain enough materials. The folder did not know what was actually criticized at Leroy Merlin“, explains the lawyer. Faced with this lack of accuracy of the minutes, the tribunal de police de Lille announced the nullity of the summons. The prosecutor general’s office now has 10 days to appeal this decision. But Master Simoneau is confident : “A new quote more accurate would indeed be possible, but this time, the period of limitation of one year would be active“. On the bottom, the chain admits that “some of the products had may not be of the CE marking“, a forgetting of their German supplier. Since 2015, it would be all back in order and the products would be out today to all their precious vouchers. A warning without charge for all brands of diy to be very, very careful with the labelling of construction products.