European Union Law

Brian is a UK manufacturer of Panel Saws (PS) which he has supplied to manufacturers in both UK and Germany for ten years. Brian now plans to sell his machines in France.

Brian has since learned that French legislation requires a licence to import PS’s. The French have placed an annual limit on the number of PS’s that may be imported and have strict regulations which state that any manufacturing machinery, including PS’s , can only be sold through government outlets.

In addition, they will only consider licence applications once a year in August.

France also has Health and Safety legislation in place which requires the PS’s to be fitted with an external filtration system to collect sawdust from the cutting process. This legislation has only recently been introduced following a research article linking sawdust with breathing problems. The research suggests that the external filtration system reduces the risk by 75%. Most of the PS’s manufactured in France already have the filtration system. Brian’s machines do not comply but do have an internal filtration system which, in Brian’s opinion, is much more efficient than the external ones required by the French legislation.

Advise Brian as to the application of EU law on the free movement of goods to this situation.