Trading products globally involves customs and other authorities Worldwide. Customs tariffs and indirect taxation directly affect costs and profits. International trade agreements and import and export regulations encompass many areas, ranging from food safety to dual use technology. Providing the proper documentation is essential to secure smooth passage.
Simmons & Simmons is one of few European firms to boast a Customs & International Trade Group. Centred in Amsterdam and Brussels, the firm's specialists can handle customs and trade issues in all EC jurisdictions. We provide advice to and representation of global clients on many types of customs and trade matters before national courts and administrations, the European Commission and the European courts and advise on compliance.
Areas of expertise include:
- customs classification (incl. obtaining Binding Tariff Informations)
- rules of origin (incl. obtaining Binding Origin Informations and Multilateral and Bilateral EC associations, ACP and GSP)
- customs value (incl. commissions, royalties etc.)
- excises, including excise suspension regimes for bonded storage and transport
- VAT in international trade
- customs and trade litigation before national administrations and courts as well as ECJ
- EC export refunds and import and export licensing for agricultural products under the EC Common Agricultural Policy
- customs audits, fines, penalties and seizures.
- enforcement of IP rights by customs border seizures (under EC TRIPS implementation)
- international movement of waste
- import and export licensing (ranging from toys to textiles)
- food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary (documentary) requirements and inspections for EC imports
- advising on any aspect of WTO law. We are often called upon to establish the WTO-compatibility of legislation or practices of WTO Members.
International trade disputes
- representing governments before WTO Panels and the Appellate Body and advising clients on WTO disputes
- representing European industries challenging foreign market access barriers, violations of trade agreements, and inadequate protection of intellectual property rights under the EU Trade Barriers Regulation.