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Impact of Van Gend En Loos Case (european Union Law)

Autor:   •  April 3, 2011  •  Essay  •  1,110 Words (5 Pages)  •  3,139 Views

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So we're here today to examine the true significance of the Van Gand case. And its quite amazing, because this case has been claimed to be one of the most significant, if not the most significant case in the context of EU law and development. Today, Husayn and me will attempt show you why this so, and in the process we will examine in detail the consequences of this case.

But first in order to fully appreciate the significance of Van Gand. We have to first understand the issues that arose in the case itself. And its quite amazing because the facts of the case were not so great or eye-catching in any sense. It concerned Custom Duty tax. And in a brief summary, Van Gand On Loo was a company that had imported into the Netherlands a substance, that was believed by them to be subject to a usual duty tax of 3%. However, and the main contention rises here, 2 years prior to the import, the Benelux countries concluded an accord, which in effect reclassified certain items under the Dutch Tariff Ordinances and hence in effect, in 1960, the substance which the company had imported was reclassified into another Tariff Ordinance that imposed a duty tax of 8%.

Now here's the problem, Article 12 of the European Economic Community, of which the Netherlands was part of prior to the increase, in essence states that member states have to refrain from introducing any new custom duties on imports and exports, as well as abstain from increasing those of which were already applying beforehand. So of course, and expectedly, the company objected amongst the lines that the increase from 3% to 8%, under the Tariff Ordinance contravened the "customs-freeze" of Article 12. This argument was initially objected and company eventually appealed to the Dutch Tariff Commission, which was then the final tribunal on the matter. The commission took the view the view that what we are essentially dealing with raised a question concerning the interpretation of the EEC Treaty and hence abiding by Article 177 of the Treaty, the Commission submitted two questions for preliminary ruling.

Essentially it asked whether the increase was unlawful and contravened Article 12 and another interesting question, and that is whether Article 12 had direct application in Member States, and by this, they were really asking, whether nationals of such a State can lay claims of right over Treaties which the courts must protect.

And its Interesting because, up until this point, a few issues are already evident; first of all, and these were all observations pointed out by the Member States involved; is this really a matter of interpretation? Or Interpretation as we understand it? After all it seems that we are talking about the application or misapplication of Dutch law; which from all observation seems to be outside the jurisdiction of the ECJ. Also, we are dealing with Dutch constitutional matters here; of which international


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