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Parliamentary questions
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5 July 2019
Answer given by Vice-President Mogherini on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-001474/2019

When products are imported into the EU, it is for the customs authorities of the importing Member States to grant the relevant approvals and, where applicable, to verify that the conditions for applying preferential treatment pursuant to an agreement with the third country are met.

The general issue of the importation into the EU of products originating in the occupied Palestinian territories was subject to a Court ruling (Case C-386/08 ‘Brita’)(1).

The Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that such products do not qualify for preferential customs treatment under the EU-Israel Association Agreement.

In that regard, the Court held that the [Member States] customs authorities could refuse to grant, in respect of the goods at issue, preferential treatment as provided for under the EC-Israel Association Agreement, on the ground that those goods originated in the [occupied Palestinian territories]'.

The specific issue of labelling of imported food products — in particular the question of whether the EC law imposes the obligation to indicate the origin of a product which comes from a territory occupied by Israel since 1967 or whether it allows Member States to impose such labelling — is currently subject to a Court case pending before the Court of Justice of the European Union (Case C-363/18)(2). The hearings took place on 9 April 2019.

The Advocate General delivered his non-binding opinion on 13 June 2019. The date of the final Court ruling is not yet known.


Last updated: 8 July 2019Legal notice