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Amministrazione delle Finanze dello Stato v Simmenthal SpA

Amministrazione delle Finanze v Simmenthal SpA
Court European Court of Justice
Citation(s) (1978) Case 106/77, [1978] ECR 629
Keywords
Employee

Amministrazione delle Finanze v Simmenthal SpA (1978) Case 106/77 is an EU law case, concerning the conflict of law between a national legal system and European Union law.

Simmenthal SpA imported beef from France into Italy. Italy imposed a public health inspection fee for the meat crossing the frontier under an Italian Law of 1970. This conflicted with European Community Regulations from 1964 and 1968.

Italian courts heard argument that Italian law must prevail because it was passed after the Regulations, and must be applied by the Italian courts until the law was declared unconstitutional. It referred the question of what to do in a case of conflict to the ECJ. The Attorney General Reischl gave an Opinion suggesting that timing of the Italian law was irrelevant, and EU law was supreme.

The ECJ held that the national court had a duty to give full effect to Community provisions, even if a conflicting national was adopted later.

18. Indeed any recognition that national legislative measures which encroach upon the field within which the Community exercises its legislative power or which are otherwise incompatible with the provisions of Community law had any legal effect would amount to a corresponding denial of the effectiveness of obligations undertaken unconditionally and irrevocably by member states pursuant to the treaty and would thus imperil the very foundations of the Community.



  • G Gaja, 'New Developments in a Continuing Story: The Relationship between EEC Law and Italian Law' (1990) 27 CMLR 83
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