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Case 26/62 Van Gend en Loos (1963)

Facts

  • Van Gend En Loos imported a type of plastic from Germany into the Netherlands
  • Upon arrival, Dutch customs authorities demanded a type of import tax to be paid

Issue

  • Could Van Gend En Loos rely on EU law in order to refuse to pay the import tax?

Decision

  • Yes

Reasoning

  • The Dutch customs authorities were in violation of what is now Art 30 TFEU:

    “Member States shall refrain from introducing between themselves any new customs duties on imports and exports or any charges having equivalent effect, and from increasing those which they already apply in their trade with each other”

  • The Court of Justice found that EU law creased a “new legal order” above that of Member States in areas of competencies conferred
  • This new legal order affects both Member States and their nationals, such that nationals, such as those representing Van Gend En Loos, could rely directly on treaty provisions (direct applicability)
  • Treaty provisions will be directly applicable if they are clear and concise, unconditional, and do not require implementation
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