Whatever business you run and wherever you are based, international trade law affects how you and your competitors operate. The international trade law team at McGuireWoods will help you make the most of any new opportunities and safely guide you through trade barriers to achieve commercial success in today’s global market. The European Union (EU) is a homogenous single market and a single customs territory composed of the national territories of its 28 Member States, within which goods move and services are provided freely. EU Institutions have exclusive powers to regulate the Union’s external frontiers, which they have used to introduce a ‘Common Customs Tariff’, and adopt a wide array of rules governing the placing of imported products onto the EU market, and the exportation of products and services from the EU.
The team is very energetic and diligent in delivering its advice. The lawyers made a very good impression. (Chambers Global 2015)
Based in Brussels, the capital of the EU and the seat of its main institutions, our team specializes in advising clients on how EU and World Trade Organization (WTO) trade rules affect the movement of goods and the provision of services in the EU and globally. McGuireWoods has had a solid presence in Brussels for more than 20 years, and possesses one of the best International Trade Law practices in the city.
The team covers the spectrum of trade law matters and, unusually, handles anti-dumping matters for both defendants and complainants. (Legal 500 2013)
Our lawyers have in-depth expertise in all international trade disciplines, including cooperation in EU trade remedies investigations, customs law and procedures and compliance programs, the representation of sovereign Governments before the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body, duty suspensions, export controls and EU sanctions.
Sources say: “What I like the most is how strong the team is at both partner and associate level.” (Chambers Global 2012)
International trade rules can create significant business opportunities or present substantial barriers to clinching new deals. It is these rules and regulations that our team can help you understand, comply with, and use to your advantage. We provide the following services to our clients:
Trade Remedies (Anti-Dumping, Anti-Subsidy and Safeguards)
We represent domestic and foreign producers before the European Commission and the Eurasian Economic Union (Russia-Belarus-Kazakhstan) Trade Authorities in anti-dumping investigations (sales below “fair” value); countervailing duty actions targeting imports that are subsidized by foreign governments; and safeguards that are actions to impose tariffs or quotas on imports from all sources deemed particularly injurious to domestic production.
WTO, Free Trade Agreements and Regional Agreements
We advise governments and businesses on WTO issues, including assistance during the accession process, dispute settlement and in regional trade agreement negotiations and implementation.
Customs Assistance and Compliance
We assist clients with tariff classification, valuation, origin, preference programs, special customs procedures (inward/outward processing, bonded customs warehouses, etc.), binding tariff and origin information, customs compliance audits, applications for waiver or mitigation of fines and penalties, investigations by customs authorities, and related litigation. We also assist our clients in setting up in-house programs to ensure compliance with customs rules and procedures, and handle discussions and negotiations with customs when self-disclosure is required.
We help our manufacturing clients take advantage of the EU’s duty suspension procedures in order to obtain the temporary removal of the customs duties, thereby creating significant duty savings for our clients. Each audit and implementation program is tailored specifically to each company’s production and supply chain.
Export Controls and Sanctions
We advise our clients on export controls rules which govern the importation, transit and export of military and dual-use goods and related services and technologies, and on the scope and impact of the various trade sanctions adopted by the EU and its Member States. We help our clients prepare applications, classification requests and reports, and assist them in devising and implementing compliance programs.
IP Border Enforcement Proceedings
We assist clients in the defense and prosecution of border actions to protect and enforce intellectual property rights under the regulations of several EU Member States, including the seizing of infringing goods or defending against such seizures.
We represent clients before the Courts of the EU in Luxembourg in high-profile cases covering all aspects of EU trade law, including challenges against trade remedies, or support for such measures when challenged by others (through interventions), and preliminary references in customs matters.
Lobbying and Advocacy
Our team has an extensive network of contacts within the European Institutions and the permanent representations of the EU Member States, as well as an in-depth understanding of the workings of the EU institutions and the EU’s legislative process, placed at the service of our clients in order to make sure that their views are known to decision-makers and can weigh in the complex decision-making process of the EU.
The placing of products on foreign markets, and the offering there of services and investments are subject to a web of regulations, rules and practices imposed by third countries. We help our clients use the WTO and EU policy tools to overcome technical and non-technical barriers to trade and benefit from the non-discrimination discipline of the WTO; in order to restore market access on an equal footing with domestic producers.