Due to increasing damage to the environment, nation states are increasingly confronted with the need to take protective measures against domestic and transboundary environmental degradation. In the short and medium term, product and production standards are proving to be the most effective environmental protection instrument, although there are inevitable conflicts with the principle of free movement of goods in the world trade systems of the WTO and the EU.

The author develops criteria for assessing the legality of national product- and production-related environmental protection standards on the basis of a comparative overall view of the regulations on the free movement of goods in the GATT and the EC Treaty. The provisions of the GATT and the EC permit far greater interference in free trade for environmental reasons than has been exercised to date. A consistent application of the principle of proportionality provides sufficient criteria to identify and prevent protectionist measures.

The book is aimed at scholars and practitioners who are concerned with the problems of free trade, environmental protection and protectionism.