Thursday, 18 July 2013

The shop around the corner - CJEU judgment in Case C-315/12 Metro Cash & Carry

Today, the Court of Justice of the EU delivered several judgments relating to consumer goods. A first one, Metro Cash & Carry, concerns the cross-border sale of alcoholic beverages to Swedish consumers in a Danish supermarket. Since Danish excise duties on spirits are considerably lower than Swedish ones, and consumers are not subject to Swedish duties when acquiring products in Denmark, there is a strong incentive for Swedish consumers to buy these alcoholic drinks in the Danish shop and import them into their home country. The CJEU was presented with the question of whether this practice is in compliance with EU law.

The Court holds that the relevant measures of EU law must be interpreted as meaning that a trader 'is not required to check whether purchasers from other Member States intend to import products subject to excise duty into another Member State and, where relevant, whether such importation is for private or commercial use'.

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