WTO-compatibility of state measures affecting the importation and exportation of oil and gas
PhD student: Mr G.F. Chianale
Promotor: Prof P.L.H. van den Bossche
Duration: 1/10/2008 - 30/9/2012
The proposed research will consist of three parts: PART I will concentrate on identifying the measures that are customarily taken by WTO members (or acceding countries) when exporting and importing oil and gas. PART II will concentrate on import-related measures. Border measures and import regulations, internal taxes and regulations will be tested against the principle of non-discrimination set out in Art. I and Art. III GATT. Import licences, prohibitions to Import below a certain price and various non-tariff barriers will be examined in light of the principle of market access enshrined in Art XI GATT and in the TBT Agreement. PART III will concentrate on export-related measures. The focus will be on the WTO-compatibility of three mechanisms through which exporting states implement dual-pricing. First, export restrictions: obliging exporters to buy oil and gas at prices higher than those for domestic market is arguably a restriction of trading rights prohibited by Art. XI GATT. Second, export tariffs: if non-discriminatory they are WTO-consistent, but when of a prohibitive magnitude they could well amount to a quantitative export restriction impinging on Art. XI GATT. Third, state control over domestic prices: this provides energy-intensive domestic downstream industries with captive inputs and could be seen as a de facto specific subsidy incompatible with the SCM Agreement.