Lawyers in the firm have gained considerable expertise in assessing the market access implications and WTO compatibility of national and regional frameworks addressing environmental and sustainability concerns. Our experience is based on the comprehensive knowledge of relevant international regulatory frameworks, the solid understanding of the functioning of regulatory mechanisms at stake, as well as of the interplay between environmental regulation and trade rules.
In particular, we have advised on the WTO compatibility of a broad range of climate change mitigation measures, such as emission trading schemes, subsidies schemes to the renewable energy industry, carbon taxes and regulatory frameworks limiting greenhouse gas emissions in certain sectors (i.e., transportation). We have also extensively analysed the market access implications and WTO compatibility of environmental regulations in a number of areas, including fisheries, forestry and biofuels, particularly in relation to certification and licensing requirements. We have also advised on bilateral trade facilitation and compliance mechanisms.
The firm’s relevant experience in advising on the implications on trade of environmental and climate change concerns includes:
- Advice to a number of Southeast Asian countries on the implementation of the EU framework on Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) in light of the negotiation of a Voluntary Partnership Agreement and the definition of trade facilitation mechanisms to be packaged in the context of free-trade area negotiations with the EU;
- Advice to a Southeast Asian country on the market access implications and WTO compatibility of the EU Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) to aviation and shipping;
- Advice to a Southeast Asian country on the implementation of the EU system to prevent, deter and eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing;
- Advice to a Southeast Asian producers’ organisation on the impact of the sustainability requirements of the EU Renewable Energy Directive on access to the EU market of biofuels and bioliquids;
- Advice to public and private stakeholders on the implications on trade in fuel products and WTO compatibility of the EU Fuel Quality Directive;
- Advice on the WTO compatibility of certain subsidies and support schemes to renewable energy sources and products; and
- Advice on a possible EU trade ban on fur products originating in countries that do not enforce international humane leghold trapping standards.