Thursday, February 23, 2012

Subject: Free trade in gold in the EU


E-2268/08 (ES) by Salvador Garriga Polledo (PPE‑DE) to the Commission (21 April 2008)
Subject: Free trade in gold in the EU
Answer from the Commission (28 May 2008)

Subject: Free trade in gold in the EU
The current financial turbulence and its repercussions on the money markets are inciting savers to turn to gold as a safe place to put their savings, so as to avoid the serious consequences of the dangerous swings in the money and currency market.
However, certain Community countries prevent free trade in gold, in its widest sense and consequences, based on specific confused and ill-justified reasons, within the framework of the freedom of goods and services within the Community.
What are the Community rules governing trade in gold within the EU as a whole, and what laws could prevent a Community citizen from freely purchasing gold if he or she wishes to do so in order to provide security for his or her savings?


Answer given by Mr Verheugen on behalf of the Commission
The Commission is aware that the national laws of many Member States provide that articles of precious metal lawfully marketed in another Member State must be checked and authorised before they are put on their national markets. Often, Member States require articles of precious metal to be hallmarked to indicate the manufacturer, the nature of the metal and its standard of fineness.
In some cases, these national requirements may constitute obstacles to the free movement of articles of precious metal within the EU. However, according to the jurisprudence of the Court of Justice, some of these requirements may be justified under certain circumstances, in order to ensure the effective protection of consumers and to promote fair trade.
In 1975 and 1993, the Commission tabled legislative proposals (1) to bring about a truly integrated internal market for precious metals. The lack of broad support for these proposals obliged the Commission to withdraw them.
The Commission hopes that its new proposal on mutual recognition in the non-harmonised field of products(2) will eliminate most existing technical barriers relating to the degree of purity of articles of precious metal. However, this proposal will facilitate but not abolish existing checking and authorisation procedures regarding articles of precious metal.
(1)COM(1975)607 final and COM(1993)322 final.
(2)COM(2007)36 final.

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