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August 1, 1994


By CBR Staff Writer

The European Court of Justice has ruled that European Union nations are at liberty to ban imports of uncertified telephone equipment, even if the importer claims that the equipment is not intended for use on the domestic market. The court ruled in a case involving two Frenchmen, Francois Rouffeteau and Robert Badia, who are facing criminal proceedings in France for possessing and marketing uncertified mobile phones and telephone answering systems. They said they planned to re-export the equipment, which they acquired in September 1991. The Court said that French law aimed to implement safety provisions of an European Union directive on telecommunications terminal equipment and did not violate European Union treaty provisions banning import restrictions between member countries. The court noted that the authorities could not be sure the equipment was actually re-exported and not used on the domestic network. French courts will have to decide whether the two Frenchmen intended to re-export the devices, as their defence claims, the ruling concluded.

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