Providing legal advice to our clients on market access strategies is the cornerstone of our practice. Our market access expertise covers agricultural goods and services. We have advised Governments and private parties on the use and WTO consistency of non-tariff barriers and other regulatory frameworks that often result in trade impediments.
On market access in agricultural products, we have advised Governments, producers and multinationals on gaining access to the European Union’s (EU) markets of palm oil, tobacco products, beef, poultry, fruit and vegetables, dairy products, rice and sugar. In particular, we have advised on the impact of EU legislation on agricultural markets and provided legal assistance before the relevant EU institutions and in WTO dispute settlement proceedings in order to ensure that our clients’ products were granted access to the EU. Our expertise covers all issues connected with non-tariff barriers affecting agricultural products, such as sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers to trade, and import licensing procedures.
We have advised Governments in negotiating agricultural market access in the Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations, in WTO accession negotiations with candidate countries, and through other trade negotiations and consultations (i.e., GATT Articles XIII and XXVIII procedures). We have also provided legal representation in WTO dispute settlement proceedings triggered in relation to market access for agricultural products. Finally, over the years we have developed strong expertise in advising both Governments and private companies or trade associations to apply for, comply with and take advantage of the EU’s GSP and GSP+ schemes, from the compliance with the requirements to the observance of the required procedures and customs forms.
Our experience includes:
- Advice and legal representation to the Government of Turkey on WTO dispute settlement proceedings relating to, inter alia, market access in agricultural products and import licensing;
- Assessment and legal advice to certain South American countries in relation to the re-negotiations of tariffs and establishment of tariff-rate quotas for certain agricultural products;
- Advice to several banana-producing countries and banana traders in relation to access to the EU market, inter alia on issues concerning import licensing procedures, sanitary and phytosanitary regulation and technical barriers to trade;
- Advice to producers and multinational companies on issues of world trade and market access of agricultural products to the EU (including beef, fisheries, fruit and vegetables sugar, palm oil, poultry and timber);
- Assistance to (in chronological order) the Governments of Mongolia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Pakistan and Tajikistan, together with a number of their business constituencies, in complying with the EU’s GSP and/or GSP+ schemes and taking full advantage of the tariff advantages; and
- Assistance to the Governments of two large South Asian agricultural exporting counties to establish a negotiating strategy in relation to their WTO negotiations on agricultural trade.
We are also active in providing advice to services suppliers in the negotiation of market access and national treatment commitments within the current Doha Round of services negotiations and in bilateral trade negotiations. Our experience includes advice and assistance in representing our clients’ commercial offensive interests in the areas of postal and courier services, energy services, telecoms and financial services both in relation to multilateral and bilateral negotiations.