ECJ Rules that Customs Duties are Payable on Imports of Armaments The ECJ has ruled that Finland, Sweden, Germany, Italy, Greece and Denmark violated Community law by withholding customs duties that were payable on imports of armaments and materials for civil and material use. Joint financing obligations of the Community budget require Member States to collect and pay such duties. In the instant case, the Member States argued that their refusal to pay was justified because collection of the customs duties would have threatened essential security interests. The Court rejected this argument, noting that while it is a Member State’s prerogative to ensure its own internal and external security, this duty is still governed by Community law and in this instance, there was no express derogation from Community law that permitted the six Member States to withhold payment of customs duties.

http://curia.europa.eu/jcms/upload/docs/application/pdf/2009-12/cp090110en.pdf