Van Gend en Loos v Nederlandse Administratie der Belastingen (case 26/62) [1963] ECR 1

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Van Gend en Loos v Nederlandse Administratie der Belastingen (case 26/62) [1963] ECR 1 is a European Union Law case concerning the Doctrine of Direct Effect.

Facts:

 

In Van Gend en Loos, the claimant had been charged an import duty by the Dutch authorities breach of Art.12 [Art.25] EC. As a result, the claimant challenged the amount of import duty charged in relation to a shipment of urea-formaldehyde. The company argued that the Dutch government was not allowed to increase the amount of duty payable in respect of trade between the Member States, under the Treaty of Rome. Moreover, Article 30 prohibits the Member States from “introducing themselves any new customs duties on imports or exports or any charges having equivalent effect”.

 

Issue:

 

The Dutch court questioned whether that Article had direct application within its own national legal system. Moreover, did Article 30 have an internal direct effect? Could the nationals of the Member States on the basis of Article 30, enforce rights which the judge should protect? Were such obligations enforceable against individuals?

 

Held: 

 

The Court of Justice held that Article 30 TFEU was directly effective; “this Treaty is more than an agreement creating only mutual obligations between the contracting parties”. The Court also said that “Union law not only imposes obligations on individuals but also confers on them legal rights”.

Moreover, the Court went on to argue that the Union is “a new legal order of international law for the benefit of which the states have limited their sovereign rights”. Moreover, “the subjects of which comprise not only the Member States but also their nationals”.  

References:

C-26/62, [1963] ECR 1, [1963] EUECJ R-26/62, (1963) 2 CMLR 128

Read our notes and our cases on the Doctrine of Direct Effect for more information.