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Case 113/80 Irish Souvenirs [1981]

Case 113/80 Commission v Ireland (Irish Souvenirs) [1981]


  • Ireland required some foreign products (souvenirs) to be labelled as foreign


  • Did this constitute a measure having equivalent effect to a quantitative restriction (MEQR) on trade, contrary to Art 34 TFEU? If so, could it be justified?


  • Was an MEQR, not justifiable


  • As the labelling requirement placed a burden on foreign suppliers (and not domestic suppliers), trade could be restricted
  • Such a requirement (only affecting foreign suppliers) is classed as a discriminatory restriction
  • Discriminatory restrictions can only be justified under Art 36 TFEU, unlike non-discriminatory restrictions, which can be justified either using Art 36 TFEU or CJEU-developed ‘overriding reasons of public interest’ (ORPIs)
  • Neither of Ireland’s submitted justifications (protection of consumers and fairness of political transactions) were listed within Art 36 TFEU, therefore the measure could not be justified, and was annulled
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