Overview

Philippe De Baere joined Van Bael & Bellis in 1988 and is currently its managing partner.

Prior to joining Van Bael & Bellis he worked as a research fellow on international trade law at the University of Leuven (KUL). He focuses on EU and WTO trade law as well as EU customs law and export controls.

EU and International Trade 

Philippe has been involved in most major EU anti-dumping, anti-circumvention and anti-subsidy proceedings since 1990. He represents clients before the European Commission, the EU General Court, the EU Court of Justice, WTO Panels and the WTO Appellate Body. Notable cases include MTZ Polyfilms v Council, Far Eastern Textile, Ltd. v Council and Giant (China) Co. Ltd v Council

In the area of free trade agreements, he advises sovereign clients during their negotiations with the EU and on the implications of Brexit on existing agreements.

WTO

Philippe assists WTO Members in various WTO dispute settlement proceedings. Notable cases include: EC – Importation, Distribution and Sale of Bananas; EC – Pipe Fittings; India – Anti-Dumping Measures on Certain Products from Chinese Taipei; US – Continued Existence and Application of Zeroing Methodology; Dominican Republic-Safeguard Measures on Imports of Polypropylene Bags and Tubular Fabric; China - Definitive Anti-Dumping Duties on X-Ray Security Inspection Equipment from the EU; Russian Federation — Recycling Fee on Motor Vehicles  and Ukraine – Definitive Safeguard measures on certain passenger cars; Canada – Welded Pipe (DS482) and India — Certain Measures on Imports of Iron and Steel Products (DS518).  Philippe also represented Ukraine in Russia – Measures concerning Traffic in Transit (DS512), the first time a panel ruled on the conditions governing a national security defence under Article XXI of the GATT 1994, and China in EC – Definitive Anti-Dumping Measures on Certain Iron or Steel Fasteners from China, where the Appellate Body ruled that the EU’s Basic Anti-Dumping Regulation, as such, was incompatible with the EU’s WTO obligations. He is currently advising Indonesia in European Union — Certain measures concerning palm oil and oil palm crop-based biofuels and Turkey in Turkey — Certain Measures concerning the Production, Importation and Marketing of Pharmaceutical Products.

Customs and Export Controls

Philippe represents several large manufacturers of high technology products in disputes concerning customs classification, valuation and origin. Notable cases include Canon Europa v Commission, Kyocera Mita Europe v Commission and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe v Commission, a case in which the EU General Court took the unprecedented step of annulling a customs classification regulation in a direct action by the company concerned. In WTO disputes related to customs issues, Philippe successfully assisted Japan and Chinese Taipei in the EC – Tariff Treatment of Certain Information Technology Products dispute. He also advised the US in EC – Selected Customs Issues

Languages

Dutch, English, French, Spanish

Recommendations

  • Best Lawyers for Trade Law
  • Best Lawyers – Lawyer of the Year (Trade Law) 2017
  • Chambers Global and Chambers Europe for International Trade/WTO (Leaders In Their Field and Star Individual)
  • Expert Guides – “The Best of the Best”
  • Expert Guides for International Trade
  • Legal 500 for Customs, Trade, WTO and Anti-dumping (Leading Individual)
  • Legal 500 for WTO (Recommended)
  • Who's Who Legal for Trade and Customs Law – one of only 7 Global Elite Thought Leaders identified in EMEA
  • Who’s Who Legal – Thought Leader for Trade & Customs
  • Who’s Who Legal – Thought Leader for Brexit
  • Who’s Who Legal – Lawyer of the Year Award (Trade & Customs) 2017

Education

  • University of Leuven, Research Fellow, International Trade Law
  • University of Leuven, Belgium, Master of Political Science, 1986
  • University of Antwerp & University of Leuven, Master of Laws, 1984

Main Publications

Co-authored Business Guide to Trade Remedies in the European Community (ITC, Geneva 2004).

Co-authored Export Promotion and the WTO: A Brief Guide (ITC, Geneva 2009).

Contributed to Trade and Competition Law in the EU and Beyond (Edward Elgar, 2011).

Co-authored A Commentary on the WTO Anti-Dumping Agreement (Cambridge University Press, 2021).

Teaching Posts

Philippe De Baere regularly lectures on EU Trade Law at the College of Europe, the University Carlos III in Madrid and the University of Leuven (KUL).  He is a regular speaker at conferences and seminars dealing with international trade.

Bar Admission

Brussels

Registered with the SRA as a Registered Foreign Lawyer

Notable assignments

  • Assisting the Government of China in its successful WTO challenge of the EU anti-dumping measures on iron or steel fasteners originating in China.

  • Obtaining the annulment of the anti-dumping measures imposed on imports of bicycles exported by Giant China, Co. Ltd, the largest bicycle producer in the world, in proceedings before the EU General Court. The case is currently under appeal before the Court of Justice.

Publications and insights

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    • 02/05/2022
    • News

    Van Bael & Bellis successfully assists Giant Electric Vehicle Kunshan (“GEV”) in obtaining the annulment of the EU anti-dumping and countervailing duties on e-bikes from China

    In two judgments issued on 27 April 2022, the General Court of the European Union annulled the anti-dumping and countervailing duties imposed on e-bikes manufactured by GEV. The General Court found that the price undercutting calculation carried out by the Commission in the context of the anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations was vitiated by a methodological error because the price of the Union producers included certain elements, namely SG&A and profits of their related selling entities, which were not included in the price of GEV used by the Commission. This methodological error led to an unfair price comparison and was liable to call into question the legality of the contested regulations by invalidating the Commission’s entire causation analysis. This has led the General Court to annul the contested regulations in so far as they concern GEV, thereby scrapping the 20.7% anti-dumping and 3.9% countervailing duties applicable to imports of e-bikes from GEV. GEV was represented in the proceedings by managing partner Philippe De Baere and senior associate, Joanna Redelbach. A copy of the judgments is available here and here.

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    • 10/01/2022
    • News

    Van Bael & Bellis adds banking, finance and projects team to its transactional services offering

    In a move that underlines the strategic growth of its transactional services team, international independent law firm Van Bael & Bellis (VBB) is pleased to announce the arrival of leading banking, finance and projects partner Johan Mouraux alongside senior associate Caroline Coppens and associate Lucas De Four. Based in VBB’s Brussels office, Johan is a seasoned banking, finance and projects partner with two decades of experience who will add strong expertise to the wide range of transactional expertise within the firm. Johan joins from DLA Piper where he was a partner and head of the Belgium office’s finance, projects and restructuring practice group. Johan has experience advising all parties involved in financing transactions, including arrangers, lenders, borrowers, investors, sponsors and public authorities. Johan has particular expertise in the infrastructure sector, renewables, in real estate finance and in leveraged finance. He also acts on debt restructuring transactions, and advises on financial services regulation in the banking, insurance, and investment services sectors. Johan has been recognised for many years as a leading practitioner in the main legal directories such as Chambers & Partners, Legal 500 and IFLR 1000, and has received the top accolade of Global Thought Leader in project finance in the International Who’s Who Legal guide. Caroline and Lucas also join from DLA Piper. Together with Johan, the team have built up a leading marketplace reputation. Client testimonies about the team refer to “a deal-maker firm, which is absolutely primordial for us" and “close, pragmatic, very aware of the environment in which banking operates and very hands-on" (Chambers and Partners 2021), whilst Legal 500 describes the group as “an excellent team of knowledgeable, trustworthy and customer-oriented legal experts”, who are “flexible and take a pro-active approach in getting the deal through” and with “in-depth knowledge of the market”. About the Transactional Services Team of VBB VBB’s transactional services team handles all ranges of complex Belgian and cross-border transactional services. This includes mergers and acquisitions, capital markets (debt and equity), insolvency and restructuring, private equity and venture capital transactions, as well as corporate real estate transactions. The transactional services team benefits from the firm’s expertise in other areas, including competition, employment and benefits, dispute resolution and arbitration, general commercial law, intellectual property, GDPR, as well as our sector-specific public law expertise in highly regulated markets (such as renewable energy, telecom, aviation, etc.). The team is consistently ranked as one of the leading independent corporate M&A practices in Belgium. Philippe De Baere, managing partner, comments: “The arrival of Johan and his team is part of our long-standing strategy to be leaders in the specific areas we focus on. Our transactional services team has gone from strength to strength for well over a decade now and will continue its growth in the future. Following the opening of our London office, this move shows once again that VBB is a firm that invests in high-end expertise for its clients.” Michel Bonne, head of the transactional services team, adds: “Johan’s team adds strong expertise to our wide range of transactional services, in Belgium and abroad. We work continuously with Belgian and multinational clients and the finest independent firms around the globe, and Johan’s expertise fits neatly into our strategic goal of being the go-to independent in the market. We are very excited to work with Johan and his team.”

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