We advise UK and international companies on the effect of trade law on their businesses and how they can fulfil their commercial objectives. We are particularly aware of the impact which Brexit is having on our clients.

We advise our clients on import and export issues so that our clients can plan ahead. Our clients are concerned with issues such as controls on the movement of goods in respect of rules of origin, compliance with the EU’s country of origin principle, product labelling and safety issues, and the customs duties which they can expect.

We also help our clients when issues have arisen as they buy or sell goods across international borders. In these situations we move swiftly to help our clients resolve issues before they become problems and penalties are incurred.

Trade law expertise

  • Export and import controls
  • International
  • Product labelling and safety
  • Rules of origin
  • Sanctions

Trade law experience

  • Following the seizure of its Chinese manufactured goods by the Italian customs authority, we assisted our FMCG client in understanding the consequences of the seizure and how it impacted our client’s commercial relationships with key UK and EU customers. We advised our client as to the position vis-à-vis action taken by the Italian customs authority and its communications with its key customers.

  • The CE mark is an EEA product certification mark indicating conformity with specific health, safety, and environmental protection standards. We advised our clients as to compliance with certain standards concerning personal protective equipment, medical devices, and machinery.

  • We advised our client in respect of the purchase of cement containing a hazardous substance from a supplier based in  the EU in circumstances where the supplier had failed to properly register the cement under REACH (Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006).  Our advice encompassed the subsequent export and then proposed re-importation into the EU of the cement by our client as well as the issues and potential liabilities arising in respect of the purchase

  • We advised our client with challenging the seizure by the Belgian customs authority of goods imported from China following the application of the incorrect valuation assessment by the authority. We worked with our Belgian correspondent consultant in making a formal challenge against the action taken by the authority.

  • Sometimes it is necessary for the sale of dual use equipment to be routed via a third country. We advised on the proposed transiting through the UK of dual use equipment between two countries which do not have diplomatic relations with each other.

  • The sale of goods and supply of services can be affected where the customer is on a sanctions list. We advised our client on the renewal of a contact where the customer had been placed on a sanctions list after the contract was entered into but before it was renewed.

Trade law FAQs

A CE mark can be obtained but it is important to identify the correct EU Regulations and Directives that apply to your goods. A UK Conformity Assessed marking may also be needed after the end of the Brexit transition period and we can help.

We often work with our overseas correspondent lawyers and customs consultants to obtain the release of goods stopped by customs and in identifying consequential contractual issues for our clients.

We can certainly help. However, the position may change after the end of the Brexit transition period.

Transiting dual use equipment via the UK is possible although the rules are complex. We can guide you through the maze.

Sanctions lists are intended to control and, in some cases, prohibit doing business with certain companies and individuals. We can help you identify whether or not ether is a compliance issue for you.

"Fox Williams has a broad team which is very knowledgeable and pragmatic in its approach."

Chambers UK 2024

"The breadth of knowledge, delivered in a commercially sound manner, is very refreshing and the team has been my go-to on complex regulatory matters for many years. Highly regarded and recommended."

Legal 500 2024



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