The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has struck a blow against restrictive food marketing board rules within a European Union (EU) member state, because of the likelihood that such products maybe re-exported to other EU countries.

In an important ruling, the court has (unusually) swept aside arguments from its own advocate general that domestic marketing board arrangements have no impact on intra-EU trade. As a result, it has declared illegal the State of Jersey’s insistence that potato sales to the UK, neighbouring Guernsey and the Isle of Man must be funnelled through the Jersey Potato Export Marketing Board.

The court agreed with the Jersey Produce Marketing Organisation Ltd that this breaks EU freedom of trade rules.