Lorry ban held contrary to European Community law

The European Court of Justice has held that a ban on heavy lorries on a stretch of Austrian motorway, designed to reduce air pollution and transfer traffic onto rail, is contrary to the EC Treaty principle of free movement of goods. Commission of the European Communities v Republic of Austria (ECJ Case C-320/03 15 November 2005) epitomises potential conflicts between environmental protection measures and trade principles, and underlines the importance of governments introducing measures to consider all alternative and potentially less trade-restrictive solutions.

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