Product rule definition

Published by a LexisNexis EU Law expert

What does Product rule mean?

Product rules, also known as product requirements, refer to the measures introduced by member states requiring some alterations with regards the physical aspect of a product or relating to the production process.

Product rules relate to the composition, packaging, presentation or generic designation of products. These rules are considered as infringing Article 34 TFEU, which prohibits barriers to trade. According to the CJEU once a product is lawfully produced in one member state, it should, in principle, be accepted to the markets of other member states without being subject to restrictions. Any alteration regarding the product itself imposes a double burden on the imported goods, and therefore constitutes an obstacle to the free movement of goods which is contrary to Article 34 TFEU. The CJEU, in its Keck judgement, distinguished selling arrangements from product rules, and excluded selling arrangements from the ambit of Article 34 TFEU.

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