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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  • Respected firm headquartered in Brussels known for its outstanding work in all aspects of Europe-wide international trade and WTO.

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With 9 partners, 4 counsel and 19 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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    • 02/12/2021
    • Books

    Van Bael & Bellis partners Philippe De Baere, Clotilde du Parc and Isabelle Van Damme publish commentary on the WTO Anti-Dumping Agreement

    Publisher
    Cambridge University Press

    Cambridge University Press has just published “The WTO Anti-Dumping Agreement” authored by Van Bael & Bellis partners Philippe De Baere, Clotilde du Parc and Isabelle Van Damme. The book provides a unique article-by-article commentary on the WTO Anti-Dumping Agreement, offering an essential and comprehensive insight into WTO case law. This commentary is an indispensable reference tool for all those working in the area of anti-dumping. Experts in international trade law, the authors have all been involved in a large number of WTO disputes and have extensive experience in anti-dumping investigations and in challenging anti-dumping determinations before the WTO and before national courts. The book is available to order here.

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    • 24/11/2021
    • Articles

    European Commission proposes deforestation due diligence rules

    On 17 November 2021, the European Commission (“Commission”) published a Proposal for a Regulation on placing on the EU market and exporting from the European Union wood, cattle (beef), cocoa, coffee, palm oil and soy and derived products associated with deforestation and forest degradation (“Proposed Regulation” or “Proposal”). According to the Proposal, those products can no longer be placed or made available on the EU market, nor can they be exported from the EU market, unless they are deforestation-free. The Proposal is presented as part of the European Union’s initiatives to address climate change, such as the European Green Deal. The publication of the Commission’s legislative proposal comes in the wake of COP26, where global leaders, including the European Union, made pledges to stop deforestation. This Client Alert sets out the key elements of the Proposal that are of interest to producers, traders, importers and exporters of wood, cattle (beef), cocoa, coffee, palm oil and soy as well as some derived products.

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    • 10/11/2021
    • Articles

    BITs and FITs: Investment treaty claims arising out of Ukraine’s recent amendments to its FIT scheme

    On 28 October 2021, the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) registered a new request for arbitration proceedings brought against Ukraine by SREW NV (SREW). SREW, which owns the 110-megawatt Dnepro-Bugsky wind power station in southern Ukraine, is claiming that Ukraine’s reforms to its tariff regime are in breach of the BLEU (Belgium-Luxembourg Economic Union) - Ukraine bilateral investment treaty (BIT). This follows the claim earlier in the year by Modus Energy International (Modus Energy), a Lithuanian investor in three solar power plants in Ukraine, which filed SCC arbitration proceedings against Ukraine under the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT). Modus Energy is claiming, by way of its Dutch subsidiary, that Ukraine has breached the ECT through the adoption of Law No. 810-IX, a legislative reform which reduced guaranteed feed-in tariffs (FITs). It is reported that Modus Energy is claiming damages of approximately EUR 11.5 million. Yet, the claims by SREW and Modus Energy may only be the first set of claims in a potential wave of investment treaty claims, under the ECT or other bilateral investment treaties, that Ukraine may face over recent amendments to its FIT regime. Elementum Energy, a UK investor, has already filed a notice of dispute under both the ECT and the UK-Ukraine BIT and it is reported that investors from Norway, South Korea and Turkey are also considering or have already filed similar trigger letters in response to Ukraine’s legislative reforms. In this Client Alert, we discuss the recent legislative reforms to Ukraine’s FIT regime which have already given rise to the disputes referred to above. We also consider the claims which Ukraine could face in the context of similar claims which other States have faced in response to the reduction in FITs.

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