The European Union, or EU, is the term used to describe the European single market. The EU is based on the 1993 treaty of Maastricht which effectively replaced what was previously known as the European Economic Community. The main purpose of the EU is to create an economic environment that would allow free trade between the member countries. To that end, EU trade is governed by a set of EU laws which are enforced by national governments.
The most important aspect of EU trade law is the freedom of movement of people, goods and services. This means that every trade done inside the EU cannot be subject to any levies or custom duties. This rule has proved to be difficult to enforce since each member state creates its own rules. Naturally, it is in each member state’s best interest to protect its national products by taxing foreign products (thus making them more expensive to purchase than local ones) whilst at the same time each nation should also adhere to the EU trade laws. This constant conflict of interest has resulted in many complaints from traders about the cross-border fees they have to pay. The EC commission (the body which decides if a member state is in violation of EU trade laws) indicates in its decisions that a fee will only be acceptable under specific circumstances - when it is proven that the state is charging without the intention of inhibiting free trade.
If you are affected by EU trade restrictions and you would like to find out what your rights are, a commercial solicitor which specialises in EU trade will be able to help.
If you would like to obtain legal advice on EU trade, Caven can put you in touch with a local commercial / EU trade solicitor free of charge. So, if you have any questions or would like our help in finding local commercial / EU trade solicitors please call us on 08001 221 2299 or complete the web-form above.
- Last Updated on 28/03/2012