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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    • 12/07/2022
    • News

    The EU Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM): what’s at stake for the trilogue?

    On 14 July 2021, the European Commission published its proposal for the CBAM Regulation (the CBAM Proposal). The CBAM Proposal is subject to the ordinary legislative procedure, which requires approval from the European Parliament and the Council of the EU. Both the Council and the European Parliament have now adopted their respective negotiating positions for the forthcoming trilogue discussions with a view to conclude the legislative process this autumn. While co-legislators support the introduction of the CBAM already in January 2023, they disagree on a number of key issues which will be at the heart of the trilogue discussions.

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    • 12/07/2022
    • News

    VBB proudly sponsors ELSA Moot Court Competition on WTO Law

    Van Bael & Bellis, a leading international trade law firm with offices in Brussels, London and Geneva, is the main sponsor of the John H. Jackson Moot Court Competition on WTO Law organised by the European Law Students’ Association (ELSA). This year, for its 20th edition, Van Bael & Bellis partner and head of the Geneva office, Clotilde du Parc; partner, Isabelle Van Damme; senior associate, Tetyana Payosova; and associate, Victor Crochet, acted as panelists in the final rounds of the competition. In addition, Victor Crochet, co-authored this year’s case and served, together with Isabelle Van Damme, as one of the judges in the Grand Final. The John H. Jackson Moot Court Competition is a student-organised competition designed to enhance participants’ knowledge of international trade law and WTO dispute settlement procedures. From February to May 2022, 71 universities and more than 200 students from all over the world participated in six regional rounds. After months of competition, the best 25 teams advanced to the Final Oral Round that took place at WTO Headquarters in Geneva (Switzerland) from 28 June to 2 July 2022. Congratulations to the University of Zurich for winning the competition, and to Katholieke Universiteit Leuven for being the runner-up!

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    • 30/06/2022
    • News

    The International Procurement Instrument: a new trade policy tool promoting reciprocity in access to international public procurement and concession markets

    Access of Union economic operators, goods or services to public procurement and concession markets from third countries as well as the elimination of restrictive public procurement practices in third countries remains an important policy objective of the European Union (Union). On 23 June 2022, the Union therefore adopted the International Procurement Instrument (IPI). The general objective of the IPI is achieving reciprocity by opening third-country public procurement and concession markets and improving market access opportunities for Union economic operators, goods or services. The present newsflash provides a synopsis of the set of rules of the IPI that shall soon enter into force.

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