Internationale Handelsgesellschaft Mbh v Einfuhr Und Vorratsstelle Fuer Getreide Und Futtermittel. (Measures Adopted By Institutions ): ECJ 17 Dec 1970

1. The validity of measures adopted by the institutions of the community can only be judged in the light of community law. The law stemming from the treaty, an independent source of law, cannot because of its very nature be overridden by rules of national law, however framed, without being deprived of its character as community law and without the legal basis of the community itself being called in question. Therefore the validity of a community measure or its effct within a member state cannot be affected by allegations that it runs counter to either fundamental rights as formulated by the constitution of that state or the principles of its constitutional structure.
2. Respect for fundamental rights forms an integral part of the general principles of law protected by the court of justice. The protection of such rights, whilst inspired by the constitutional traditions common to the member states, must be ensured within the framework of the structure and objectives of the community. 3. The requirement by the agricultural regulations of the community of import and export licences involving for the licensees an undertaking to effect the proposed transactions under the guarantee of a deposit constitutes a method which is both necessary and appropriate, for the purposes of articles 40 (3) and 43 of the EEC Treaty, to enable the competent authorities to determine in the most effective manner their interventions on the market in cereals. The system of deposits violates no fundamental right.
4. The concept of force majeure adopted by the agricultural regulations is not limited to absolute impossibility but must be understood in the sense of unusual circumstances, outside the control of the importer or exporter, the consequences of which, in spite of the exercise of all due care, could not have been avoided except at the cost of excessive sacrifice.
5. By limiting the cancellation of the undertaking to export and the release of the deposit to cases of force majeure the community legislature adopted a provision which, without imposing an undue burden on importers or exporters, is appropriate for ensuring the normal functioning of the organization of the market in cereals, in the general interest as defined in article 39 of the Treaty.


C-11/70, R-11/70, [1970] EUECJ R-11/70, [1970] EUECJ C-11/70


Bailii, Bailii

European, Constitutional

Updated: 21 June 2022; Ref: scu.214118