Case C-491/01 ex parte British American Tobacco [2002]

Key point

  • Existing harmonising legislation is no obstacle to the competence under Article 114 make new amendments in light of scientific developments


  • Directive 2001/37 amended and extended rules governing tar yields and warnings on tobacco packaging
  • The directive was aimed at improving the functioning of the internal market for tobacco products not media carrying tobacco advertisements
  • Its legal basis was Article 95 EC
  • Its validity was challenged by BAT


  • The directive was valid


  • The directive could come under the scope of competence of Article 95 EC
  • Pre-existing harmonising legislation is no obstacle
  • Harmonising legislation can be amended not only on the basis of new scientific facts, the EC in exercising the discretion it possesses can take into account other considerations such as increased importance given to the social and political aspects of the anti-smoking campaign
Constitutional limits cases