The present paper aims to provide some thoughts on the incentive regulation and investment decisions in the gas sector with particular attention to the third party access (TPA) exemption. Open and non-discriminatory access to the networks by those who do not own the physical network infrastructure is fundamental in facilitating greater competition and making energy markets work effectively. Under EU legislation, interconnectors, storage facilities and LNG import terminals may apply for an exemption from being required to offer access to third parties. This work is particularly devoted to examine how the concept of essential facilities and Third Party Access Exemptions can be applied to the Italian LNG market, considered as a part of the transportation chain and of a global natural gas market. A comparison with both other EU countries experiences in the Third Party Access Exemptions to LNG terminals and the American gas market will also be treated. Some concluding reasoning of the problems still affecting the Italian incentive regulation, and, consequently, the main obstacles to promote LNG import terminal investments will be eventually discussed.