THE EUROPEAN Court of Justice has ruled that the imposition by France of heavier duties on light-tobacco cigarettes, (which are mostly imported), than for dark-tobacco cigarettes, (which are almost exclusively home produced), breaks EU law. Ordering the French government to harmonise the taxes, the court dismissed France's arguments that light and dark tobacco are essentially different products and liable to different tax regimes. Instead judges concluded that the cigarettes were like products and that the duty variation was "discriminatory."

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