Trade & Customs

Trade lawyers par excellence

Van Bael & Bellis has the largest and most expert team of lawyers in Brussels handling EU and WTO trade law, with more than 30 years of experience in the field.

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  • "Clearly the leading firm in the field of trade remedies in Brussels"

    Chambers Global

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Recommendations

  • Commanding international trade practice with a market-leading Brussels team and additional experience in Geneva.

    Chambers Global
  • Van Bael & Bellis is highly regarded, particularly for its expertise in anti-dumping matters although the practice also handles a range of customs and WTO matters.

    Legal 500
  • Difficult to find a team that does as well on both the legal and business sides.

    Chambers Europe
  • Van Bael & Bellis has 'an exceptional amount of experience' and is among the best available in Brussels for trade work.

    Legal 500

Team focus

With 9 partners, 2 counsel and 18 associates, Van Bael & Bellis is the EU law firm with the largest team of specialised trade lawyers.

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Recent publications

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    • 01/07/2020
    • Articles

    European Commission’s White Paper on Levelling the Playing Field as regards Foreign Subsidies

    Key Takeaway: The EU (and Member States) may be given new, far-reaching powers to tackle the perceived harmful effects of third-country subsidies benefitting businesses operating in the EU. Remedies could be imposed limiting participation in all sectors of the internal market, including prohibiting businesses from making subsidised acquisitions and participating in public procurement in the EU. On 17 June 2020, the European Commission (the “Commission”) published a White Paper on how to respond to third countries giving subsidies to companies active in the EU (“foreign subsidies”). In an effort to level the playing field, the Commission proposes new tools to address what it perceives as unfair competition from foreign players in the EU’s internal market. The Commission considers that existing tools, in the areas of notably trade defence, competition law and public procurement, are insufficient to avoid distortions resulting from foreign subsidies. The proposed new tool box fits within the EU’s new policy of “open strategic autonomy”. It signals a more pro-active approach on the part of the EU in responding to unfair and abusive practices distorting the EU internal market and undermining the level playing field.

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    • 15/04/2020
    • Articles

    EU Customs Issues and Covid-19

    The EU Commission has published a Communication entitled “Guidance on Customs issues related to the COVID-19 emergency” providing practical information for day-to-day customs operations in view of the COVID-19 crisis. The Communication addresses various issues, namely: e-commerce - customs representation, customs decisions, customs debts and guarantees, entry of goods, customs procedures, transit, special procedures, and exit of goods. The attached memorandum provides you some of the points raised in the Communication.

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    • 08/04/2020
    • Articles

    Impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations in the EU

    On 13 March 2020, the European Commission published a Notice on the consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak on antidumping and anti-subsidy investigations (the Notice). Pursuant to the Notice, the COVD-19 outbreak will affect the anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations carried out by the European Commission as follows: 1. Suspension of verification visits The Commission decided to suspend all verification visits to the affected areas until further notice. Instead, the Commission will carefully examine the information provided by interested parties in the framework of the investigations and cross-check it with information available from other sources. Moreover, if the Commission considers the information submitted inaccurate or incomplete, it will base its findings on verified or other proven facts on the record of the investigation. In view of this, it becomes essential for all exporting producers cooperating with the European Commission to provide a complete, accurate and substantiated questionnaire response supplemented by all necessary annexes and worksheets in order to enable the Commission to verify and reconcile the data without visiting the company’s premises. 2. Extended deadlines Due to the extraordinary circumstances, the Commission may grant a 7-day extension to companies located in areas affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Furthermore, the Commission will consider granting a longer extension if the requesting company is particularly affected by additional substantial safety measures (such as quarantine periods and/or mandatory factory closures). In order to qualify for an additional extension, the requesting company has to provide a sufficient explanation on how the additional time would help to prepare a more comprehensive questionnaire response. It is also necessary to describe how the additional substantial safety measures affect the requesting company’s capacity to provide the required information. It must be noted that the Notice does not address the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the on-going second review of the steel safeguard measures. Therefore, it remains to be seen whether the timeframe of the review or any of its substantive aspects will be affected by the pandemic. Please click here to access the Notice.

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