TILEC Club Med: Olga Hrynkiv and Leo Gargne
Recent developments on the application of exception clauses under the WTO and other trade agreements
In 2019, the WTO panel adopted the first-ever ruling on the right to a national security exception from the global trade rules in Russia – Traffic in Transit. In Restrictions applied by Ukraine on export of certain wood products to the European Union, the Arbitration Panel was tasked with deciding on the first EU trade dispute to be resolved through dispute settlement under a bilateral trade agreement – most specifically, the Panel analyzed whether the measures at issue were justified under the general exceptions clause contained in the association agreement. Through these two unprecedented reports, we will reflect on key aspects of the interpretation of exceptions clauses by the panels and their implications for future disputes concerning national security and the environmental protection objectives of states.