Category Archives: Office news

Newly released Who’s Who Legal Trade and Customs 2016 again confirms VVGB’s pre-eminent trade and customs practice

Who’s Who Legal Trade and Customs 2016 which was released on 20 October highly rates VVGB’s trade and customs practice. Who’s Who Legal observes that:

 

“VVGB Advocaten is a compact six-partner boutique based in Brussels, but nonetheless commands a significant presence in international and EU trade law. Clients highlight the firm for its ‘premier trade remedies practice’. Edwin Vermulst, the top European based practitioner in our research, has a renowned trade remedy practice and has been involved in the vast majority of major EU trade defence matters for over 30 years. Folkert Graafsma is also extensively experienced and renowned for the anti-dumping and anti-subsidy expertise, having successfully represented clients in over 150 such proceedings. One source summarises, ‘he is definitely one of the top names, very active in the most important cases, as well as being very pleasant to work with’.”

The full report can be found at : http://whoswholegal.com/news/analysis/article/33490/trade-customs-2016-analysis/

VACANCY: EU LAW / ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH & SAFETY RISK REGULATION PRACTICE (food, chemicals etc.)

Description

VVGB is looking for an Associate (3 years experience) to support the firm’s international EU Law & Litigation and Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) Risk Regulation Practice.

Profile

LL.M in EU Law (College of Europe Bruges or similar) and overall convincing university grades

Bar qualification in an EU Member State (preferably the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, the United Kingdom, Denmark or France)

3 years experience in another law firm is a pre

A genuine service driven attitude

Committed to provide the highest professional quality to colleagues and clients

Excellent written communication, analytical and organizational skills

Autonomous and accurate

Responsibilities

Assist in client matters in regulatory areas such as Food/Feed, REACH/CLP, Agrochemicals, Biocides, Food safety, Food Contact Materials, Packaging, Electronics, Waste and similar highly regulated products and industries

Draft legal advise, task force agreements, data sharing agreements, submissions in litigations and regulatory/administrative procedures, position papers and other documents in client related matters such as data sharing procedures

Support in the handling/managing task forces (consortia) pursuant to REACH, EU Plant Protection products Regulation 1107/2009 and EU Biocidal Products Regulation 5282/2012

Assist with literature, legal and case law research and keeping up with regulatory and legislative developments

Contribute to the organization of firm events

Etc.

About the firm

VVGB is a Brussels based independent international law firm composed of experienced partners and their teams who combine their expertise and strengths to provide premier quality and personalized service at competitive rates due to the boutique structure. The firm’s clients include multinational corporations, medium-sized companies, international and domestic industry associations and governments.

Applications

By regular post and e-mail to:

VVGB Advocaten / Avocats

Mrs. Mena Alves

Barricadenplein 13

1000 Brussels

mena.alves@vvgb-law.com

Only candidates who provide the following supporting documents will be considered:

CV

Complete record of study results (i.e. grades and diplomas)

A decent motivation letter expressing your interest to work in the field of EU Law and Environmental Health & Safety Risk Regulation (food, chemicals etc.) in particular

Contact details of 2 reference persons

Deadline:      

15 June 2016

For a pdf-version click here

Edwin Vermulst speaks at WTO Public Forum

At the WTO Public Forum, held at the WTO in Geneva from 30 September through 2 October, Edwin Vermulst participated in the session organised by the World Federation of Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI) on ‘Why Rules of Origin Matter’. As trade counsel to the WFSGI, he discussed the interplay between non-preferential rules of origin and circumvention rules. Vermulst noted that trade in the sporting goods’ industry is deeply affected not only by trade remedy actions, but also by seemingly routine issues such as rules of origin and that all efforts towards increased market access and trade preferences can be undone by overly restrictive – and unilaterally determined – non-preferential rules of origin. He considered that the absence of multilateral agreement on both non-preferential rules of origin and circumvention rules in the context of trade remedy investigations leaves administering authorities too much room for result-oriented trade-restrictive interpretations and therefore favoured harmonisation of both as the lesser evil.

Zoellick and Lamy praise Baetens’ research

In September 2015, “Rule-Makers or Rule-Takers? Exploring the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership“, edited by Daniel S. Hamilton and Jacques Pelkmans, will be published by Rowman and Littlefield International.

In this volume, Freya Baetens responds to criticism on investor-state disputes settlement and analyses different options for reform. Other European and American experts explain the economic context of TTIP and its geopolitical implications, and then explore the challenges and consequences of US-EU negotiations across numerous sensitive areas, ranging from food safety and public procurement to economic and regulatory assessments of technical barriers to trade, automotive, chemicals, energy, services and regulatory cooperation. Their insights cut through the confusion and tremendous public controversies currently swirling around TTIP, and help decision-makers understand how the United States and the European Union can remain rule-makers rather than rule-takers in a globalising world in which their relative influence is waning.

The book has received several positive reviews already, including from Robert B. Zoellick, former US Trade Representative, President of the World Bank and US Deputy Secretary of State, and Pascal Lamy, former Director-General of the World Trade Organization and European Commissioner for Trade. With the publisher’s permission, the text of the book will also be posted in PDF for free downloading on both the CEPS and CTR websites, to coincide with the launch event at CEPS on 9 September 2015. For info, please see:  http://www.ceps.eu/events/rule-makers-or-rule-takers-exploring-transatlantic-trade-and-investment-partnership

European Parliament INTA Committee Study: Assessment of EU Trade Defense Policy Decisions

On 31 August 2015 Edwin Vermulst gave a presentation to the INTA Committee of the European Parliament on his recent study “Assessment of Trade Defense Policy Decisions” requested by and prepared for the INTA Committee. The study assesses two vital issues concerning the EU’s trade defense activities. The first concerns a transparency issue and the second pertains to the practical application of the trade defense instruments. On the first aspect, the study concludes that the Annual Reports issued by the European Commission to the European Parliament on trade defense activities need a fundamental overhaul in terms of structure, content and timing of their issuance. In their current format the Annual Reports fail to serve the purpose for which they were conceived in the first place. As regards the practical application of the trade defense instruments in recent years, the study demonstrates that certain changes in the European Commission’s practice may have far-reaching consequences. Apart from the fact that the legality of certain of the practices is not assured, some of them could easily backfire against EU exporting producers if emulated by third countries, which tend to closely watch the EU’s TDI law and practice.

VVGB partner Marco Slotboom cited by Global Competition Review

Marco Slotboom was quoted in an article in the Global Competition Review on a recent decision by the Dutch Competition Authority (“ACM”) to considerably lower fines for a cartel infringement following an unreasonably long administrative review procedure. He was also quoted in an article on recommendations of the ACM to reduce and simplify the rules the Dutch Central Bank imposes on retail banks.

GCR-Banks-need-fewer-and-simpler-rules-says-Dutch-authority.pdf

GCR-Dutch authority slashes fine over slow progress

 

 

 

Edwin Vermulst gave a presentation on “The use of economics in trade remedy & subsidy disputes”

On 24 and 25 June 2014 Edwin Vermulst gave a presentation in Geneva together with Jorge Miranda on “The use of economics in trade remedy & subsidy disputes: double remedies; causality; adverse effects; hands-on discussion of leading cases: Cotton, AD & CVD, FIT case and other ALI reports” at the Dissettle Summer School on Economics in WTO and Investor-State Dispute Settlement and participated in a round table discussion chaired by Joost Pauwelyn on “Best practices for the use of economics in WTO dispute settlement” with James Flett, Alexander Keck, Jorge Miranda and Jan Woznowski.

Edwin Vermulst presented the paper “China – Broiler products from the United States: How the chickens came home to roost”

On 16 June 2014 Edwin Vermulst presented the paper “China – Broiler products from the United States: How the chickens came home to roost”, co-authored with Economics Professor Thomas Prusa of Rutgers University, at the annual Global Governance workshop on WTO case law of the European University Institute in Florence.

VVGB partner Edwin Vermulst publishes in 13:2 World Trade Review

Together with Rutgers University economics professor Tom Prusa, Edwin Vermulst recently published an article in 13:2 World Trade Review, 229-266, on the WTO case China Countervailing and Anti-dumping Duties on Grain Oriented Flat-rolled Electrical Steel from the United States: exporting US AD/CVD methodologies through WTO dispute settlement?. In July 2009 Chinese steel producers of grain oriented electrical steel filed anti-dumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) cases against US and Russian producers. The US challenged the duties subsequently imposed by China in the WTO for a variety of reasons, many of which involved perceived deficiencies in the producers’ application to China’s investigating authority. The US also challenged certain aspects of MOFCOM’s injury analysis. While the Panel and Appellate Body ruled in favour of the US on most issues, we argue that China may well emerge as the ‘winner’ in this dispute as this case establishes important standards for allegations and evidence in applications, standards that other countries (including the US) likely have failed to meet when they have imposed AD and CVD orders on the largest target country, China.