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Removal of certain obstacles to trade: rapid intervention mechanism

The purpose of this Regulation is to create an appropriate mechanism enabling the European Commission to intervene by way of decision addressed to the Member State concerned so that the latter can speedily and effectively correct serious and abrupt breaches of the principle of the free movement of goods.


Council Regulation (EC) No 2679/98 of 7 December 1998 on the functioning of the internal market in relation to the free movement of goods among the Member.


The Regulation is based on Article 268 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) (ex Article 235 of the EC Treaty) and applies to clear, unmistakable and unjustified obstacles to the free movement of goods, within the meaning of Articles 36 to 42 of the TFEU (ex Articles 30 to 36 of the EC Treaty), originating in action or inaction on the part of a Member State and which:

  • lead to serious disruption of the free movement of goods;
  • cause serious loss to the individuals affected;
  • require immediate action in order to prevent any continuation, increase or intensification of the disruption or loss in question.

Inaction exists when a Member State, in the presence of actions taken by private individuals, fails to implement any necessary and proportionate measure available to it for safeguarding the free movement of goods without adversely affecting the exercise of fundamental rights recognised under national law.

Where the Commission establishes the existence in a Member State of obstacles, it must address a decision to the Member State directing it to take the necessary and proportionate measures to remove those obstacles within a period laid down by it.

Where a Member State to which a decision is addressed fails to comply with it within the prescribed period, the Commission must immediately give it notice to submit its observations within three days.

Where the obstacle continues after the expiry of the period of three days mentioned above, the Commission has immediately to issue a reasoned opinion calling on the Member State to comply with it within three days.

Where, by the end of that three-day period, the Member State has not complied with the reasoned opinion, the Commission may institute proceedings before the Court of Justice.

The Commission must publish in the Official Journal of the European Union decisions which it adopts pursuant to point 3 and must immediately transmit the text to any interested party which makes a request to this effect.


ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal

Regulation (EC) No 2679/98



OJ L 337, 12.12.1998

Last updated: 13.07.2011

See also

  • Directorate-General for Internal Market and Services - Infringements
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