Food Law News - EU - 1998

7 January 1998: ADMINISTRATION - Barriers to Trade: Infringement Proceedings against France

Commission Press Release (IP/98/4), 7 January 1998

Barriers to Trade: Infringement Proceedings against France

Following complaints, the Commission has decided to send a reasoned opinion (the second stage of infringement proceedings under Article 169 of the EC Treaty) to France concerning barriers to the free movement of goods that are in breach of Article 30 of the EC Treaty. The barriers in question concern processing aids used in the production of certain foodstuffs. In the absence of a satisfactory response on the part of the Member State within a period of not more than two months following receipt of the reasoned opinion, the Commission may bring the case before the Court of Justice.

The Commission has decided to issue a reasoned opinion to France because it considers that its national rules on the use of processing aids (such as enzyme preparations) in the production of foodstuffs constitute a barrier to trade, in breach of Article 30 of the Treaty. Under those rules, all processing aids are subject to a prior authorisation procedure. As such, the rules are likely to prevent the marketing in France of foodstuffs from other Member States where the use of such substances is subject to different standards and conditions than those applicable under the French legislation, which, in the Commission's view, ought therefore to include a mutual recognition clause granting access to the French market for products that have been lawfully produced and/or marketed in other Member States and in the countries that have signed the Agreement on the European Economic Area.

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