Web-Companion Essential EU Law in Text: Suggested solutions to the exercises

Please find hereinafter the suggested solutions to the 64 exercises contained in the book "Tobler/Beglinger, Essential EU Law in Text, 5th edition, HVG-ORAC 2020, ISBN 978-963-258-490-4".  To give you an idea how the exercises in the book are phrased, they have been added for the first three instances. Any comments or feedback are welcome.

Showing only entries concerning chapter Part 2, B. II. 4. 2.. View all entries

Free movement of goods – Exercise 2

Page: 67 Chapter: Part 2, B. II. 4. 2.

Suggested solution:

The exercise question refers to a real case and thus invites the reader not only to reflect on the question but also to find the case and study it (Case C-72/03 Carbonati Apuani Srl v Comune di Carrara, ECLI:EU:C:2004:506).

A customs duty within the meaning of Art. 30 TFEU is a charge imposed on a product in a unilateral manner, i.e. only on the product that crosses a border. In contrast, an internal tax within the meaning of Art. 110 TFEU is imposed in a general manner, i.e. on all of the relevant products on the market of the country in question, independent of whether they have crossed or will cross a border. In the case at issue, the charge, which is not borne by all marble, does not fall within the category of a general taxation measure.

This leaves Art. 30 TFEU (charge having equivalent effect to a customs duty). In the real case, the Italian government argued that Art. 30 TFEU “must refer only to customs duties and charges having equivalent effect in trade ‘between Member States’” (para. 21). On that, the Court noted that the free movement of goods must be ensured not in trade between Member States alone, but more broadly throughout the territory of the customs union (meaning that territorial boundaries are also relevant). However, the Court added immediately that the present case is not a purely internal one since the rule in question does not make a distinction between marble transported outside of Carrara to other Italian places or to other Member States.

If the charge has to be paid only on marble transported out of Italy or worked abroad, then the case is even clearer (Art. 30 TFEU).

[Relevant Charts: Chapter 8, in particular Charts 8/9-8/14]



Published: 13 July 2010