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Case C-184/96 Foie Gras [1998]

Case C-184/96 Commission v France (‘Foie Gras’) [1998]

Facts

  • French law laid out very restrictive requirements which needed to be satisfied before a product could be labelled and marketed as ‘foie gras’ (a French food consisting of duck or goose liver)

Issue

  • Did these requirements constitute a measure having equivalent effect to a quantitative restriction on trade between Member States (in breach of Art 34 TFEU)?

Decision

  • Yes

Reasoning

  • Art 34 has no de minimis exception
  • Although no other Member States produced foie gras, trade in foie gras would be restricted if non-French producers were to start doing so
  • Even though this was only a potential restriction, it still violated art 34
  • The Court of Justice found the potential restriction to be ‘non-hypothetical’ in nature, illustrating how broadly the Court will interpret the scope of Art 34
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