Customs Law – The European court of justice rules on the absence of legal force of the list rules of origin

    February 2010

    On 10 December 2009, the ECJ issued a judgment that is likely to have a resounding impact on customs practitioners and companies that are asked to determine the origin of goods imported into the EU when these goods are made from raw materials or parts themselves originating in several countries. In the HEKO case1, the Court was requested to comment on the status of the "list rules", which are widely applied in the EU for nonpreferential origin of imported goods. The legal status of these rules had hitherto been uncertain, albeit treated as solid law by the customs authorities and by the European Commission alike.