EU & International Trade

Our EU & International Trade team deals with the full remit of issues emerging from the EU’s international trade law and policy, ranging from the imposition and application of anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties through to WTO membership and dispute settlement, and customs issues such as rules of origin and classification of goods. We are now advising on the possible impact of Brexit on these various areas of EU law and potential future UK regulation of these areas both in relation to UK/EU and other international trade.

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International trade law has long been an area of single competence of the EU institutions, whether by virtue of participation in the World Trade Organisation or as a result of the EU’s single customs area and through application of the Community Customs Code.  The EU single customs area secures that the EU’s external borders to all non EU countries apply a single set of rules to all imports from non EU countries. 

Our international trade team has a wealth of experience advising EU manufacturers and non EU exporters alike on the operations of EU trade law.  This includes:

  • advising on a number of anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations aimed at imports into the EU of products alleged to be traded unfairly
  • advising on alleged circumvention of such measures and related issues of classification and origin of the relevant goods
  • advising third country governments in respect of disputes with the EU arising from alleged breaches of international trade rules and related WTO dispute settlement procedures, including in relation to bilateral agreements with certain third countries
  • representing many major exporters in countries like India, China, Russia, the USA and Japan in anti-dumping and anti-subsidy cases
  • representing national governments in trade disputes with the EU.

The UK’s position in relation to international trade is set to change markedly in the wake of Brexit negotiations, which could possibly result in new UK competences for issues such as anti-dumping, albeit the UK would expect to apply such rules within the framework of WTO rules and obligations. This is an area we will be monitoring carefully as negotiating positions over Brexit emerge in the months and years to come. 

Visit our  Brexit Hub »


Some of our experts

Jonathan Branton

Partner - Head of EU/Competition

I lead the firm in EU/Competition issues, specialising in behavioural antitrust, merger control, public procurement and State aid, and all related issues of public funding, including the UK’s Regional Growth Fund, ERDF and ESIF. I also head up the firm’s Brussels office and the firm’s cross-discipline Public Sector group.

Hilary Ross

Executive Partner (London) - Head of Retail, Food & Hospitality

Recognised by The Lawyer as one of the UK’s Top 100 lawyers, I advise clients on compliance and challenges across the EU in relation to products, systems and safety.

Howard Cartlidge

Head of EU/Competition (London)

I advise on all aspects of EU and UK competition law. I help businesses to deal with the legal and policy aspects of regulatory disputes and investigations.

Dominic Watkins

Partner - Head of Food Group

I am Head of DWF’s internationally renowned food sector group as well as being Head of Regulatory in London.

Jon Stevens


I am a Partner and specialist tax lawyer with experience of advising on all aspects of tax planning related to corporate and property transactions.