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Case C-2/90 Commission v Belgium (Belgian Waste) [1992]

Facts

  • Wallonia, an area of Belgium, prohibited waste originating in another Member State from being stored, tipped or dumped in its locality

Issue

  • Did this prohibition run contrary to Art 34 TFEU (prohibiting quantitative restrictions on imports from other Member States)?

Decision

  • Yes

Reasoning

  • Waste must be considered as “goods” within Art 34 TFEU, as it forms the basis of commercial transaction (even if only for transportation purposes)
  • Belgium could not adequately justify its absolute prohibition with reference to environmental considerations
  • A ban could be imposed on general waste only, to prevent an influx of waste which the region could not handle (just not on all waste)
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