This Trade Summary provides an overview of WTO dispute settlement decisions and panel activities, and EU decisions and measures on commercial policy, customs policy and external relations, for the third quarter of 2017.
On September 6, 2017, Belgium requested an opinion from the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) on whether the investment protection rules set out in Chapter Eight of the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (“CETA”) conform to EU Treaties. This request stems from the last-minute deal between Belgium and its regional governments on October 27, 2016, which essentially sought to appease Wallonia’s concerns regarding investor protection and the new Investment Court System (“ICS”) and unblocking domestic opposition to the signing of CETA.
In a “Future Partnership Paper” released on August 15, the UK presented two options for a customs regime upon its exit from the EU.
On July 30, 2017, new Federal Law No. 165-FZ of July 18, 2017 entered into effect, introducing amendments (the “Amendments”) to Federal Law No. 160-FZ “On Foreign Investments in the Russian Federation” of July 9, 1999 and Federal Law No. 57-FZ “On the Order of Accomplishing Foreign Investment in Entities Having Strategic Importance for Procuring State Defence and Security” of April 29, 2008 (the “FSIL”). The Amendments, among other things, granted the Government of the Russian Federation a discretionary power to decide whether a transaction by a foreign investor in respect of any business entity incorporated in Russia is subject to a prior governmental control in accordance with the procedure set forth by the FSIL, even if such transaction does not involve any strategically important Russian entity. Significant changes were also introduced into the FSIL. The alert memorandum summarizes the key provisions of the Amendments.
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