Free trade v environment in French case against PCP ban

The balance between free trade and environmental protection in the EC Treaty is to be tested once again following a complaint by the French Government to the European Court of Justice. France claims that the European Commission acted unlawfully in authorising Germany to go further than existing EC legislation by banning imports of pentachlorophenol (PCP) and PCP-treated products.

The Commission's "derogation" to Germany was granted in December, three years after regulations banning imports of PCP and PCP-treated products were introduced in Germany. The ban goes further than a 1991 EC Directive which restricts the marketing and use of PCP but then authorises its continued use in certain textile and wood treatment and other applications (ENDS Report 195, pp 34-35).

Germany was granted its derogation under Article 10

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