The court ruling determines that while Israeli communities have settled in the area and make goods, it does not fall under trade agreements established between the EU, Israel and Palestine
The European Union high court ruled last Thursday that Israeli goods produced in the West Bank are not to be considered as Israeli-made goods and are therefore not liable to claim duty-free entry to the EU.
The case originated in Germany, where Brita had imported some equipment manufactured by Israeli company Soda-Club Ltd. Brita claimed the goods were eligible for preferential tax treatment under the EC-Israel agreement. German customs officials investigated and, when Israeli authorities refused to answer the question whether the goods were made in the occupied territories, Germany refused to grant that treatment.
The court ruling which officials said should not be interpreted as recognition of who controls the West Bank territory, determines that while Israeli communities have settled in the area and make goods, it does not fall under trade agreements previously established between the EU, Israel and Palestine, respectively.
According to the EU Court, the EU has two separate independent trade agreements: one with Israel and one with the Palestine Authority (PA). Each of those is geographically limited, and "products obtained in locations which have been placed under Israeli administration since 1967 do not qualify for the preferential treatment provided for under" the agreement with Israel. Rather, all goods manufactured in the West Bank and Gaza would be covered by the EC-PA agreement and apparently would qualify for duty free entry if their origin was certified by the Palestinian Authority.