Rewe-Zentral AG v Bundesmonopolverwaltung für Branntwein

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Cassis de Dijon
Creme de Cassis Guignole de Dijon.jpg
Court European Court of Justice
Decided 20 February 1979
Citation(s) (1979) Case 120/78
Quantitative restriction on trade, Measures of equivalent effect

Rewe-Zentral AG v Bundesmonopolverwaltung für Branntwein (1979) Case 120/78, popularly known as the Cassis de Dijon case, is an EU law decision of the European Court of Justice. The Court held that a regulation applying to both imported and to domestic goods (an "indistinctly applicable measure") that produces an effect equivalent to a quantitative import restriction is an unlawful restriction on the free movement of goods. The case is a seminal judicial interpretation of article 34 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.


The case concerned the sale of "Cassis de Dijon" (a type of crème de cassis) in Germany by an importer and retailer (Rewe). Crème de cassis is a blackcurrant liqueur produced in France containing 15% to 20% alcohol by volume. The German government had a law stipulating that products sold as fruit liqueur had to contain at least 25% alcohol by volume. Therefore, the Bundesmonopolverwaltung für Branntwein (a section of the German Federal Ministry of Finance) told Rewe that the Cassis de Dijon might be imported: on the other hand, it advised the importer that its marketing wasn't allowed in Germany. The importer argued that this represented an effect equivalent to a quantitative restriction on trade in breach of article 30 of the Treaty of Rome.


The ECJ held that the German legislation represented a measure having an effect equivalent to a quantitative restriction on imports and was thus in breach of article 28 of the Treaty:


In 2010, Switzerland unilaterally adopted this principle: generally, goods that can be lawfully produced or marketed according to standards applying in the European Union can also be lawfully produced or marketed in Switzerland or imported from the EU into Switzerland.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Neue Zürcher Zeitung: Erleichterte EU-Importe, 20 May 2010.(in German)


  • Kai Purnhagen The Virtue of Cassis de Dijon 25 Years Later – It is Not Dead, it just Smells Funny, in: Varieties of European Economic Law and Regulation, hrsg. Kai Purnhagen, Peter Rott, New York, Heidelberg, Dordrecht u.a.: Springer, 2014, 315–342, ISBN 978-94-007-7109-3
  • Craig, Paul; de Búrca, Gráinne (2007). EU Law, Text, Cases and Materials (4th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 677–679. ISBN 978-0-19-927389-8. 
  • Steiner, Josephine; Woods, Lorna; Twigg-Flesner, Christian (2006). EU Law (9th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 378–382, 397. ISBN 978-0-19-927959-3. 
  • Brettschneider, Jörg, Das Herkunftslandprinzip und mögliche Alternativen aus ökonomischer Sicht, Auswirkungen auf und Bedeutung für den Systemwettbewerb, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2015, ISBN 978-3-428-14463-1.

External links[edit]