• Transit of energy via cross-border pipelines: A study on the limits of GATT article V

    Author(s):
    Fazil Jamal (see profile)
    Date:
    2022
    Group(s):
    Global & Transnational Studies
    Subject(s):
    World Trade Organization, Energy policy, Sovereignty
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    GATT, article V, freedom of transit, pipelines, energy transit, WTO, international law, Regulations, international trade
    Permanent URL:
    https://doi.org/10.17613/ksrb-k459
    Abstract:
    The freedom of transit in international trade law originally involved the movement of goods across borders without any arbitrary or unnecessary hindrance. In this era of network-bound energy systems requiring the permanent establishment of fixed installations such as gas pipelines and high voltage power transmission grids to facilitate access to energy across borders, and especially in the absence of an international legal regime specifically addressing the question of such transit of energy goods, the scope and ambit of the freedom of transit in international trade law is under critical scrutiny. While some scholars state that the freedom of transit includes the construction and maintenance of cross-border pipelines, this paper argues that such an interpretation of the existing GATT Article V on international transit of goods might be inaccurate, ‘stretching’ the legal provisions too imaginatively, rather than reflecting what it actually says. This paper reviews the textual language of Article V and also the interpretation of the Article as emerging from the WTO/ DSB case law. It is argued that the specificity of the network-bound infrastructure systems involved in energy transit are not yet addressed by the international trade law framework and that in the absence of special disciplines at WTO, only incremental practice can provide guidance on transit of energy goods via cross-border pipelines.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    4 months ago
    License:
    All-Rights-Granted
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