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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27.02.2018 BE law
Kleinhandelsbeleid getoetst aan Dienstenrichtlijn

Articles - Het Hof van Justitie heeft in een recent arrest de Dienstenrichtlijn van toepassing verklaard op "detailhandel". Dit arrest heeft belangrijke gevolgen voor het lokale kleinhandelsbeleid. Zo zal een gemeente of een provincie die de toegang tot of de uitoefening van een dienstenactiviteit beperkt, afdoende moeten motiveren waarom die belemmering verstaanbaar is met de Dienstenrichtlijn. Het bestuur moet dan ook waakzamer dan ooit zijn wil het een wettig kleinhandelsbeleid voeren. 

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01.02.2018 EU law
Highest German Court rules that ASICS's ban on using price comparison websites violates EU competition law

Short Reads - On 19 January 2018, the German Federal Court of Justice (FCJ) published its judgment concerning an appeal brought by shoe manufacturer ASICS against a fining decision. The FCJ ruled that ASICS had infringed competition law by prohibiting its retailers from participating in price comparison websites. The judgment confirms the strict approach of German courts relating to vertical online sales restrictions.  

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02.01.2018 EU law
Court of Justice dismisses appeal by Telefónica on non-compete clause in telecoms transaction

Short Reads - On 13 December 2017, the Court of Justice dismissed the appeal brought by Telefónica against a judgment of the General Court (GC) regarding a non-compete agreement [see our July 2016 Newsletter]. The judgment confirms the finding of the GC that the non-compete clause agreed upon between Telefónica and Portugal Telecom (PT) amounted to a market sharing agreement with the object of restricting competition.

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01.03.2018 EU law
ACM publishes key priorities for 2018 and 2019

Short Reads - On 13 February 2018, the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) highlighted the key priorities it will pursue in 2018 and 2019. It will focus on the digital economy, making the energy market greener, prices of prescription drugs and competition in the port sector. Interested parties were invited to share their comments on the priorities and multiple statements online.

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16.02.2018 EU law
Who is a consumer? The dynamic approach to the concept of 'consumer' under the Brussels I Regulation

Short Reads - On 25 January 2018, the European Court of Justice ("ECJ") rendered a preliminary ruling in a case between Austrian citizen Maximilian Schrems and online social network Facebook. The ruling is important for two reasons. First, the ECJ approved a dynamic approach to the concept of 'consumer' under the Brussels I Regulation. Secondly, the ECJ clarified that the special consumer forum can only be invoked by the specific consumer who is party to the contractual relationship with the professional trader.

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01.02.2018 EU law
Dissemination of misleading information on the safety of a medical product can be a "by object" infringement

Short Reads - On 23 January 2018, the European Court of Justice delivered its judgment on a request for a preliminary ruling by the Italian Council of State. The request concerned an agreement between Roche and Novartis to make public statements concerning the alleged lack of safety and efficacy of one of Roche's products which competed with a product licensed to Novartis (the Agreement). The Court of Justice found that such an agreement can, under specific circumstances, constitute a restriction of competition "by object".

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01.02.2018 EU law
Qualifying dawn raid documents as 'in scope' or 'out of scope': marginal review by Belgian Court

Short Reads - On 13 December 2017, the Brussels Court of Appeal rendered a judgment clarifying the qualification 'in scope' and 'out of scope' of documents seized by the Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) during dawn raids at the applicants' (Distripaints NV and Novelta NV) premises. The dawn raids were launched after a complaint by SA Durieu Coatings, which accused both distributors of colluding with its competitor Akzo Nobel.

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02.01.2018 EU law
Court of Justice: Suppliers of luxury goods may prohibit their authorised distributors from selling on third party internet platforms

Short Reads - On 6 December 2017, the Court of Justice rendered its much anticipated judgment in a dispute between a supplier of luxury cosmetics (Coty) and one of its authorised resellers. The central question was whether Coty is allowed under the competition rules to forbid its resellers to sell Coty products over third party internet platforms with visible logos (like eBay or Amazon).

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