(1974) ECR 837

This was one of many court cases that helped to precisely define the European Economic Community's internal free trade policy. Belgium had imposed a law that firms importing Scotch whisky had to provide certificates of authentication from the government of the United Kingdom. When several importers began bringing in Scotch from France, the Belgian government sued them.

The European Court of Justice found that the Belgian law was in violation of Article 28 EC (Article 30 of the original EC Treaty), which states: "Quantitative restrictions on imports and all measures having equivalent effect shall be prohibited between member states."

The court ruled that "all trading rules enacted by Member States which are capable of hindering, directly or indirectly, actually or potentially, intra-Community trade are to be considered as measures having an effect equivalent to quantitative restrictions."

In essence, the case established that EC member states could not show favoritism, in any way, shape, or form, toward other member states in their trade policy.

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