We are Stibbe Trade law specialists

We advise clients on how to avoid problems, possible rights of defence, action to take, what documents to gather, and also advising them when it’s not worth fighting.

Trade Law

As goods move around the world, there are a host of intricate trade laws and duties that must be adhered to. We assist our clients in navigating their complexities both domestically and internationally through pragmatic advice.

We advise our clients on the whole range of trade law aspects. These include investigations on alleged anti-dumping duties, international trade law, removal from blacklists, preventing international sanctions, assistance with administrative procedures with authorities, and disputes before local courts and the Court of Justice.

Our trade law specialists also have experience defending the interests of large companies who have been sanctioned by the United Nations. In addition, we work with the European Commission for or against anti-dumping cases.

As part of our service, we also assist clients with litigation regarding the classification of imported goods under the applicable tariff codes, as well as litigation with customs authorities on other aspects of the import of goods, including for example, additional duties for goods subject to anti-dumping duties.

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01.11.2017 EU law
Nike can restrict sales via online platforms within its selective distribution system

Short Reads - On 4 October 2017, the District Court of Amsterdam ruled* in favour of sports goods manufacturer Nike in an action against a distributor, Action Sport, which had not complied with Nike's selective distribution policy. The District Court found that Nike's selective distribution system, which included a ban on sales via non-authorised online platforms, was compatible with competition law as it sought to preserve the luxury image of Nike's products.

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01.11.2017 EU law
General Court upholds fine for 'gun jumping' EU merger control procedure

Short Reads - On 26 October 2017, the General Court (GC) dismissed an appeal lodged by Harvest Marine, a Norwegian seafood company, against a EUR 20 million fine imposed by the European Commission. The fine was imposed on Harvest Marine in 2014 for implementing its acquisition of Norwegian salmon producer Morpol before obtaining the required clearance from the Commission under the EU merger control rules, also referred to as "gun jumping" [see our August 2014 Newsletter].

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01.11.2017 EU law
General Court annuls UPC/Ziggo merger decision

Short Reads - On 26 October 2017, the General Court (GC) annulled the Commission's 2014 decision approving the merger between cable companies UPC Nederland B.V. (UPC) and Ziggo N.V. (Ziggo) following an appeal brought by KPN. The GC found that the Commission had failed to properly assess the vertical effects of the merger on a potential market for premium pay TV sports channels. Although merger decisions are rarely annulled by the EU courts, this judgment marks the second time it has happened this year.

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02.10.2017 EU law
Court of Justice upholds fine imposed on Philips and LG in the cathode ray tubes cartel

Short Reads - On 14 September 2017, the European Court of Justice dismissed the appeals brought by LG Electronics Inc. (LG) and Koninklijke Philips Electronics NV (Philips) against the General Court's (GC) judgment in the cathode ray tubes (CRT) cartel [see our October 2015 Newsletter]. The Court of Justice confirmed that the relevant "value of sales" in the EEA includes sales of finished products incorporating the cartelised products in the EEA, even if those cartelised products were first sold to entities outside the EEA by means of intragroup sales.

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02.10.2017 EU law
Curaçao Competition Act entered into force on 1 September 2017

Short Reads - On 1 September 2017, the rules of the Curaçao Competition Act (Landsverordening inzake concurrentie, "CCA") entered into force on the basis of a national decree (Landsbesluit) of 11 April 2017. The CCA addresses the three main topics of competition law: cartels, abuse of dominance and mergers. The CCA is largely in line with the Dutch and European competition rules, with a few notable exceptions described below.

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01.11.2017 EU law
KLM and Amsterdam Schiphol airport offer commitments to reduce competition concerns

Short Reads - On 12 October 2017, the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) published a draft decision accepting the commitments of Dutch airline KLM (KLM) and Amsterdam Schiphol airport (Schiphol). The commitments are aimed at eliminating the competition concerns identified by the ACM on the basis of a four-year investigation into interactions between KLM and Schiphol about growth opportunities of other airlines at Schiphol and airport capacity.

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02.10.2017 EU law
Court of Justice landmark judgment: Intel's EUR 1.06 billion fine is sent back to the General Court

Short Reads - On 6 September 2017, the European Court of Justice rendered its landmark judgment in the Intel case. The outcome of this judgment was eagerly awaited, as it had the potential to revolutionize how EU competition law assesses the business practices of undertakings with a dominant position. The Court has clearly moved away from a form-based analysis, towards a more effects-based approach.

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02.10.2017 EU law
Court of Justice provides guidance on examining excessive prices as abuse of a dominant position

Short Reads - On 14 September 2017, the European Court of Justice answered preliminary questions from the Latvian Supreme Court. The Latvian Court sought guidance on how to establish whether the fees charged by a collective rights management organisation (CMO) are excessive and therefore constitute abuse of a dominant position in the sense of Article 102 TFEU. The Court of Justice confirmed that comparing the prices with those applied in other Member States, is an appropriate method to establish whether Article 102 TFEU has been infringed.

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