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National technical regulations are subject to the provisions of Articles 28 and 30 of the Treaty establishing the European Community (the EC Treaty), which prohibit quantitative restrictions or measures having equivalent effect. Case law of the European Court of Justice, especially case 120/78 (the 'Cassis de Dijon' case), provides the key elements for mutual recognition. The effect of this case law is as follows:
  • Products legally manufactured or marketed in one country should in principle move freely throughout the Community, where such products meet equivalent levels of protection to those imposed by the Member State of exportation and where they are marketed in the territory of the exporting country
  • In the absence of Community measures, Member States are free to legislate on their territory
  • Barriers to trade, which result from differences between national legislations, may only be accepted, if national measures:
    • Serve a legitimate purpose justifying the breach of the principle of free movement of goods
    • Can be justified with regard to the legitimate purpose and are proportionate with the aims.
    • Are necessary to satisfy mandatory requirements (such as health, safety, consumer protection and environmental protection)


    Click here to browse for standards associated with each specific European Union New Approach Directive.

    Keywords: CE marking, CE Mark, European business, EU regulations, EU business requirements, European trade barriers, New Approach directive, technical construction file, EN, prEN, ISO, IEC, ITU, ETSI, CEN, CENELEC, EU regulatory compliance