Germany: BAMF must comply with Dublin timeframes to transfer applicants from Greece, despite agreement between the two national authorities.

Friday, September 22, 2017

On 15 September 2017, the German Administrative Court of Wiesbaden ruled that the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) must comply with the timeframes for carrying out a Dublin transfer as set out in the Dublin III Regulation.

The case concerned a Syrian minor who applied for international protection in Germany and whose family (parents and three siblings) applied for asylum in Greece, where they currently reside. His family has a pending transfer from Greece to Germany since 30 March 2017, when Germany accepted the take-charge request issued by the Greek Dublin Unit.

First, the Court recognised the existence of logistical problems in Germany, which poses obstacles to the transferring of the applicants within the required timeframe, and which is under the control of the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees. Secondly, it recalled that the minor's family members have a subjective right to be transferred within the six-month period, as requested under Article 29 of the Dublin III Regulation and clarified by the Court of Justice of the European Union in its C-670/17 Mengesteab judgment. Thirdly, in reply to the alleged agreements between the German and Greek authorities to establish a cap of transfers and to expand the available timeframe to carry out the transfer without the transfer of responsibility under the Dublin III Regulation, the German Court affirmed that this guarantee represents an additional legal claim on behalf of the applicant, but does not have the effect of obviating Germany’s responsibility to execute the transfer within the required time limit of six months. Fourthly, the Court stated that this time limit starts to run from the day the German authorities accept the take-charge request (in casu, 30 March 2017), and not from the day the Greek authorities confirm receipt of that acceptance (in casu, 3 April 2017).

Finally, the Administrative Court of Wiesbaden ordered, despite the BAMF’s claim that the transfer of the applicants from Greece to Germany was scheduled for October 2017, that the minor’s family must be transferred before the expiration of the six-month time limit established under the Dublin III Regulation (that is, by 30 September 2017). This decision cannot be appealed.

Based on an unofficial translation by the ELENA Weekly Legal Update. We would like to thank Meral Zeller, Communications and Events Assistant at ECRE, for her assistance with translating this decision. We would also like to thank Karl Kopp and Mary Lisa Jayaseelan from Pro Asyl for bringing this case to our attention.


This item was reproduced with the permission of ECRE from the weekly ELENA legal update supported by the Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Funding Programme and distributed by email. The purpose of these updates is to inform asylum lawyers and legal organizations supporting asylum seekers and refugees of recent developments in the field of asylum law. Please note that the information provided is taken from publicly available information on the internet. Every reasonable effort is made to make the content accurate and up to date at the time each item is published but no responsibility for its accuracy and correctness, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by ECRE, the IRC or its partners.


Best interest of the child
Dublin Transfer
Family reunification
Family unity (right to)
Unaccompanied minor