• In the case of Case c 2 90 Commission v Belgium 1992 ECR 4431 Walloon Waste, it was held that when waste is the subject of a commercial transaction, it is subject to Article 34 TFEU.

Facts of the Case

  • This case concerned a Belgian law that prohibited waste that originated in Member States from being dumped or stored in Wallonia (Belgium)
  • The question brought to the European Court of Justice was whether this provision ran counter to Article 34 of the Treaty on the functioning of the European Union to ensure the free movement of goods.
  • The Belgian government argued that waste could not be classed as ‘goods’ as it had no intrinsic value.

Issues in Case c 2 90 Commission v Belgium 1992 ECR 4431 Walloon Waste

  • Did Article 34 TFEU apply and could waste be classed as ‘goods’.

Held by European Court of Justice

  • Held that Article 34 TFEU did apply.

Judge Kakouris

  • Held that when waste is subject to a commercial transaction, as it was in this case for transportation purposes, it is subject to Article 34 TFEU.
  • Belgium could not justify the violation of this article with the argument of environmental protection, therefore Belgian law ran counter to the free movement of goods.
  • “By imposing an absolute prohibition on the storage, tipping or dumping in Wallonia of hazardous waste originating in another Member State and thereby precluding the application of the procedure laid down in Council Directive 84/631/EECof 6 December 1984 on the supervision and control within the European Community of the transfrontier shipment of hazardous waste, the Kingdom of Belgium has failed to fulfil its obligations under that directive.” [1]