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Amministrazione delle Finanze dello Stato v. Simmenthal S.p.A.
European Court of Justice
Case 106/77, 1978 ECR 629
Simmenthal (plaintiff) imported beef for human consumption into Italy from France in July 1973, and the Amministrazione delle Finanze dello Stato (defendant) charged Simmenthal with a veterinary and public-health inspection fee as required under Italian law. Simmenthal sued for a refund of the inspection fee in Pretore di Susa, an Italian court. The Pretore di Susa referred the question of the validity of the inspection fee to the European Court of Justice (ECJ), which ruled the fee was an invalid quantitative restriction under Article 30 of the European Economic Community Treaty (EEC Treaty). The Pretore di Susa ordered the Amministrazione delle Finanze dello Stato to refund the fees to Simmenthal. The Amministrazione delle Finanze dello Stato appealed, contending that the Pretore di Susa had to apply Italian domestic law unless the Italian legislature repealed, or the Italian Constitutional Court invalidated, the law requiring the veterinary and public-health inspection fee. The issue was then referred to the ECJ again.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning
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