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WTO Law Aspects of Clean Trade

17 Pages Posted: 24 Jul 2015  

Lorand Bartels

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law

Date Written: July 22, 2015


The Clean Trade project is designed to block the importation of natural resources that have been exploited in violation of the human right to permanent sovereignty over these natural resources (‘exploited resources’). To this end, the Clean Trade project envisages that states would impose a direct embargo on exploited resources, and would impose duties on products from intermediate states that import exploited resources. This note, written in the context of the Clean Trade Project, examines the WTO legality of these two mechanisms. It concludes that, most likely, these mechanisms are WTO-legal. In the event that they are not, this note also considers a third option, namely, a waiver from WTO obligations, along the lines of the waiver for the Kimberley Process for ‘conflict diamonds’.

Suggested Citation

Bartels, Lorand, WTO Law Aspects of Clean Trade (July 22, 2015). Available at SSRN: or

Lorand Bartels (Contact Author)

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law ( email )

10 West Road
Cambridge, CB3 9DZ
United Kingdom

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