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Case 178/84 Commission v Germany (Beer Purity) [1987]

Facts

  • A national Germany law required all beer being sold to contain only 5 ingredients: barley malt, hops, yeast and water
  • Foreign importers of ‘beer’ wished to use additives in their beer, whilst still being able to market their drink as ‘beer’ in Germany

Issue

  • Did the German law violate Art 34 TFEU on the prohibition of measures having equivalent effect to quantitative restrictions on the movement of goods between EU Member States?

Decision

  • Yes

Reasoning

  • Although Germany were entitled to prescribe product requirements for domestic producers of beer, preventing the addition of technically advantageous additives would unfairly prejudice foreign producers who could lawfully add the additives in other Member States
  • The German law could not be justified
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