Adjudicating on the origin of products from Israel and the West Bank: Brita GmbH v. Hauptzollamt Hamburg-Hafen (C-398/06)

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The Court of Justice has held that goods originating in the West Bank are not entitled to enter the European Union (EU) under the preferential tariff arrangements granted under the EC-Israel Association Agreement. The customs authorities of the Member States are not bound by the proof of origin status given by the exporting state when sufficient information is not provided, nor are they obliged to refer the matter to the Customs Cooperation Committee. The Court considers that the Association Agreements concluded with Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) must be interpreted in accordance with the rules and principles of customary international law. In doing so, the Court finds a way to resolve a technical dispute in a highly political context. The judgment sheds light on the Court’s view of the EU’s place within a wider set of norms governing the international system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-50
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Public Law
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • European court of justice
  • customs cooperation committee
  • international law

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