Case Cassis de Dijon

Case 120/78, Rewe-Zentral AG vs. Bundesmonopolverwaltung für Branntwein, ECR 1979 p. 00649!celexplus!prod!CELEXnumdoc&lg=en&numdoc=61978J0120

Identified should be:

The parties of the case

The subject of the case

The structure of Free Movement cases:

-Element of EU law

-Does the case fall under EU free movement law?

-Which free movement rights are restricted?

-Is the restriction distinctive or indistinctive / discriminatory or non-discriminatory?

-Is the restriction justified? (In this case, it is important that there exist two groups of justifications - treaty-based and case law based.)

-Is the restriction necessary in a democratic society?

-Is the restriction proportionate?

What did the ECJ decide?


Please note: 

It is established by the case-law beginning with Cassis de Dijon that, in the absence of harmonization of legislation, obstacles to free movement of goods which are the consequence of applying, to goods coming from other Member States where they are lawfully manufactured and marketed, rules that lay down requirements to be met by such goods (such as those relating to designation, form, size, weight, composition, presentation, labelling, packaging) constitute measures of equivalent effect prohibited by Article 34 (30 EC). This is so even if those rules apply without distinction to all products unless their application can be justified by a public-interest objective taking precedence over the free movement of goods.


The Cassis-judgment also says that:

In the absence of harmonisation, measures which are applied without distinction to domestic products and products imported from other Member States are capable of constituting a restriction on the free movement of goods (para. 8).


Obstacles to movement within the Community resulting from disparities between the national laws relating to the marketing of the products in question must be accepted in so far as those provisions may be recognized as being necessary in order to satisfy mandatory requirements relating in particular to the effectiveness of fiscal supervision , the protection of public health , the fairness of commercial transactions and the defence of the consumer. (para. 8)


(For the notes, the following material has been used: Imola Streho, Free Movement of Goods: About Discrimination, Restrictions and Market Access. Advanced European Union Legal Practice. Reader - Teaching Material (Total Law CEU Sun, Department of Legal Studies, 2010))