Today I received a package from Amazon.com, bearing a yellow sticker stating that “Goods Do Not Meet The Requirement Of Article 9 and 10 Of The Contract For The Foundation Of The European Community.” It’s a weird message, and not just because of its awkward phrasing.
You see, there’s no such thing as the “Contract for the Foundation of the European Community.” Google isn’t helping much, as searching for this cryptic disclaimer only leads to other people wondering what the hell it means. There are two prime candidates: the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community or the European Convention on Human Rights. In the former, articles 9 and 10 are about the free movement of goods within the Union. Since this package came from the US, it shouldn’t apply. In the European Convention on Human Rights these articles cover the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and to freedom of expression respectively. Which seems a better fit, but it’s still weird.
Anyway, given the actual content of the package, it’s an approriate warning. Because, and may the blubbering and gibeous Elder Gods have mercy on us insignificant mortals, one should bloody well hope that this kind of arcane knowledge remains forbidden and forgotten.
Last year, I contacted Amazon about this, and their reply has been sitting in my inbox for more than a year:
Update 2014-03-05 Nicolas Bougues sent me a mail explaining it in even more detail: