Judgment of the Court (Fourth Chamber) of 25 February 2010.

Firma Brita GmbH v Hauptzollamt Hamburg-Hafen.

Reference for a preliminary ruling: Finanzgericht Hamburg - Germany.

EC-Israel Association Agreement - Territorial scope - EC-PLO Association Agreement - Refusal to apply to products originating in the West Bank the preferential tariff arrangements granted for products originating in Israel - Doubts as to the origin of the products - Approved exporter - Subsequent verification of invoice declarations by the customs authorities of the importing State - Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties - Principle of the relative effect of treaties.

Case C-386/08.

Top of the page Documents in the Case
Document Date Name of the parties Subject-matter Curia EUR-Lex
Judgment (OJ)
17/04/2010 Brita
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25/02/2010 Brita
EUR-Lex text EUR-Lex bilingual text
Judgment (Summary)
25/02/2010 Brita
29/10/2009 Brita
EUR-Lex text EUR-Lex bilingual text
Application (OJ)
08/11/2008 Brita
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Top of the page Legal analysis of the decision or of the case

Reports of Cases

2010 I-01289


Reference for a preliminary ruling – Finanzgericht Hamburg – Interpretation of the Euro-Mediterranean Agreement establishing an association between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the State of Israel, of the other part, signed at Brussels on 20 November 1995 (OJ 2000 L 147, p. 3) and in particular Articles 32 and 33 of Protocol 4 of that agreement, and of the Euro-Mediterranean Interim Association Agreement on trade and cooperation between the European Community, of the one part, and the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) for the benefit of the Palestinian Authority of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, of the other part, signed at Brussels on 24 February 1997 (OJ 1997 L 187, p. 3) – Refusal to apply the preferential tariff regime granted to goods originating in Israel to goods originating in an Israeli settlement in the West Bank – Power of the authorities of the importing State to verify subsequently the proof-of-origin certificates in the absence of doubts concerning the origin of the goods in question other than those resulting from a divergence of opinion between the parties to the EEC-Israel Association Agreement as to the interpretation of the expression ‘territory of the State of Israel’ and in the absence of previous resort, for the purposes of the interpretation of that expression, to the dispute-settlement procedure provided for under Article 33 of Protocol 4 of that agreement

Systematic classification scheme

6 External policy
  6.07 International agreements
    6.07.15 Free trade, association, stabilisation etc. agreements Countries outside Europe
6 External policy
  6.07 International agreements
    6.07.15 Free trade, association, stabilisation etc. agreements Countries outside Europe

Citations of case-law or legislation

References in grounds of judgment

Operative part



Date of the lodging of the application initiating proceedings

  • 01/09/2008

Date of the Opinion

  • 29/10/2009

Date of the hearing

Information not available

Date of delivery



Publication in the Official Journal

Application: OJ C 285 from 08.11.2008, p.26

Judgment: OJ C 100 from 17.04.2010, p.4

Name of the parties


Notes on Academic Writings

  1. Simon, Denys: Interprétation des accords d'association euroméditerranéens CE/Israël et CE/OLP, Europe 2010 Avril Comm. nº 130 p.12-13 (FR)
  2. Kuijper, Pieter Jan: Case C-386/08, Brita GmbH v. Hauptzollamt Hamburg-Hafen Judgment of the European Court of Justice of 25 February 2010, Legal Issues of Economic Integration 2010 p.241-251 (EN)
  3. Harpaz, Guy ; Rubinson, Eyal: The Interface between Trade, Law and Politics and the Erosion of Normative Power Europe: Comment on Brita, European Law Review 2010 p.551-570 (EN)
  4. Cortés Martín, José Manuel: Jurisprudencia del Tribunal de Justicia de la Uníon Europea, Enero - Abril 2010, Revista de Derecho Comunitario Europeo 2010 nº 34 p.1-61 (ES)
  5. Martines, Francesca: Norme sull'origine dei prodotti e applicazione territoriale dell'Accordo di Associazione con Israele al vaglio della Corte di giustizia, Studi sull'integrazione europea 2010 nº 3 p.691-715 (IT)
  6. Puccio, Laura: Understanding EU Practice in Bilateral Free-trade Agreements: Brita and Preferential Rules of Origin in International Law, European Law Review 2011 p.124-134 (EN)
  7. Cardwell, Paul James: Adjudicating on the Origin of Products from Israel and the West Bank: Brita GmbH v. Hauptzollamt Hamburg-Hafen (C-386/08), European Public Law 2011 Vol. 17 Issue 1 p.37-50 (EN)
  8. Holdgaard, Rass ; Spiermann, Ole: Case C-386/08, Brita GmbH v. Hauptzollamt Hamburg-Hafen, Judgment of the Court of Justice (Fourth Chamber) of 25 February 2010, Common Market Law Review 2011 Vol.48 nº 5 p.1667-1685 (EN)
  9. Guarino, Giancarlo: Il territorio della Palestina, alla luce della sentenza della CGUE Brita GmbH, Atti del convegno in memoria di Luigi Sico. 2011 (Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II) 2011 p. 691-717 (IT)
  10. Fornari, Matteo: La Cour de Justice de l'Union Européenne se prononce sur l'importation de produits fabriqués dans les territoires palestiniens occupés: verre demi plein ou verre demi vide?, International Courts and the Development of International Law (Ed. T.M.C. Asser Press - Den Haag) 2013 p.897-910 (FR)
  11. Simon, Denys: Applicabilité des accords entre l'Union européenne et le Royaume du Maroc au territoire du Sahara occidental: Acte II, Europe 2018 avril nº 4 p.6-10 (FR)

Procedural Analysis Information

Source of the question referred for a preliminary ruling

Finanzgericht Hamburg - Germany


  • External relations
  • - Association Agreement
  • Free movement of goods
  • - Customs union

Procedure and result

  • Reference for a preliminary ruling

Formation of the Court

quatrième chambre (Cour)



Advocate General


Language(s) of the Case

  • German

Language(s) of the Opinion

  • French