The COVID pandemic has led to a number of clothing companies in Belgium to expand their range by designing and manufacturing face masks. One of the growing companies in Belgium is called ‘Unique Fashion BV.’ It has seen success in Belgium by selling a designer range of face masks and now wishes to expand its market by selling to France from December 2021.
A recent directive to do with environmental protection, ‘Directive 2022/82’ (fictitious), that has to be transposed by February 2022 states that ‘all member states have an obligation to ensure that all fabric is recycled to ensure the protection of the environment.’
Unique Fashion begins to encounter difficulties with the French market because:
When its masks enter France, they have to pay 3 Euros per 100 masks. French authorities state that this charge is for recycling the masks.
Secondly, France has also limited the number of masks that may be imported to 10,000 a month. Again, France claims this is to minimise recycling costs.
Thirdly, Unique Fashion BV finds out that because its masks have a loose strap it will be taxed at a higher rate than those masks that have a stringy strap. French authorities argue that a loose strap is not as safe as a string strap because it has observed masks fall off people’s faces thus endangering others close to them. However, Unique Fashion conducts its own investigation and finds out that a number of France’s manufacturers of masks do not use a stringy strap.
Advise Unique Fashion BV as to the impact of the relevant EU law and the options available to sell its goods in France
“Given that the United Kingdom is no longer part of the EU, there will be a reduction of workers from Europe who intend to come to the UK to find work which will adversely affect the country’s economy.”
Critically discuss this assertion with reference to article 45 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (2007) which deals with the free movement of workers.
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