Rewe-Zentral Ag v Bundesmonopolverwaltung Fuer Branntwein: ECJ 20 Feb 1979

ECJ 1. Since it is a provision relating specifically to state monopolies of a commercial character, article 37 of the EEC Treaty is irrelevant with regard to national provisions which do not concern the exercise by a public monopoly of its specific function – namely, its exclusive right – but apply in a general manner to the production and marketing of given products, whether or not the latter are covered by the monopoly in question.
2. In the absence of common rules, obstacles to movement within the community resulting from disparities between the national laws relating to the marketing of a product 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.
3. The concept of ‘measures having an effect equivalent to quantitative restrictions on imports’, contained in article 30 of the eec treaty, is to be understood to mean that the fixing of a minimum alcohol content for alcoholic beverages intended for human consumption by the legislation of a member state also falls within the prohibition laid down in that provision where the importation of alcoholic beverages lawfully produced and marketed in another member state is concerned.


C-120/78, R-120/78, [1979] EUECJ R-120/78, [1979] ECR 649, [1979] EUECJ R-120/78




Updated: 21 May 2022; Ref: scu.132706