Rewe-Zentral Ag v Bundesmonopolverwaltung Für Branntwein [1979]

  • Created by: channyx
  • Created on: 21-03-20 15:37


Rewe-Zentral was a company based in Germany that sought authorization to import spirits from France, including the blackcurrant liqueur Cassis de Dijon. The Bundesmonopolverwaltung für Branntwein (Federal Monopoly Administration for Spirits) advised Rewe that although its authorization was not needed for the liqueur import, it would be unlawful to sell Cassis de Dijon in Germany.

According to German law, fruit liqueurs needed a 25 per cent alcohol content to be eligible for sale. The alcohol content of French Cassis varied between 15 and 20 per cent, and thus fell short of the threshold applied by German law. Rewe challenged the Administration's decision, arguing that the German provision constituted a measure equivalent to a quantitative restriction (MEQR), also known as a measure having equivalent effect, for the purposes of Art. 30 EEC (now Art. 34 TFEU).

The Hessisches Finanzgericht (Finance Court of Hessen) made a reference for preliminary ruling, asking whether: (a) the disputed German rule constituted an MEQR under what is now Art. 34 TFEU; and (b) the setting of a minimum wine-spirit content was discriminatory for the purposes of what is now Art. 37 TFEU.


The Court of…


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