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Antidumping investigations: a niche legal sector that can highly affect your business

  • Global
  • Competition, EU and Trade

21-12-2020

View our table on 'The European Commission initiates an anti-dumping proceeding on the import of certain iron or steel fasteners originating in the People’s Republic of China (PRC)'

What is an antidumping measure

According to EU Regulation No. 2016/1036 of 8 June 2016 on protection against dumped imports from countries not members of the European Union (hereinafter the Regulation) an antidumping duty may be imposed on products whose export price to the European Union is lower than the one applied to a like product, in the ordinary course of trade, in the exporting Country.

When such a case occurs, the European Commission may initiate an antidumping investigation, provided that a complaint is submitted to it by the Union industry which has been injured by the dumped import. In particular, a complaint shall be deemed as valid when it is filed by the manufacturers of the concerned products that are not related to exporters or importers of the same, whose collective output constitutes at least 25% of the output produced in the whole Union and provided that the same complaint is sufficiently supported by evidence. In such a case, the Commission shall initiate the investigation within 45 days from the receipt of the complaint.

The Commission shall then publish a Notice of initiation in the EU Official Journal specifying the product and Countries under investigation and the deadlines that shall apply.

If, after the investigation, the Commission ascertains that the product has been dumped, that the European Industry has suffered an injury due to this practice and that the imposition of a measure does not affect and is not against the interest of the Union, it shall impose an antidumping measure, consisting in an additional duty on the import of the concerned products from the specific Countries under investigation.

Who can take part in the investigation

Upon initiation of the investigation, the Commission shall send questionnaires to specifically selected parties in order to fully understand the mechanisms of production and trade of the dumped product. Such parties may involve producers, exporters, European importers as well as European manufacturers of the same product.

In this context, any interested party could make itself known to the Commission within the time limit set by the Commission and using the means indicated in the notice of initiation of the investigation published on the Official Journal (usually, a letter stating the reasons why the party is interested in the investigation and likely to be affected by its results).

Provided that the Commission verifies and assess the existence of the above interest, the party shall be eligible to take view of the case-file documents, to produce briefs and to be heard by the Commission.

In particular, any party can intervene in order to argue whether the imposition of an additional duty could be in the Union interest. For example, if the product under investigation represents an essential input for a fundamental downstream industry (such as the production of medical devices) and could not be produced within the Union at a reasonable price, the manufacturers of the downstream industry could legitimately argue that the imposition of the antidumping measures may harm the Union as a whole, thus being contrary to the EU interest.

How we may assist you

The products for which the Commission initiates antidumping investigations usually represents essential inputs for a downstream market which is, in may case, fundamental for the whole Union (see for instance the investigation concerning fibre cables imported from China, published on the Official Journal of 24 September 2020). In this sense, it is not clear whether the imposition of an additional duty could be in the interest of the Union, especially in cases where the same products are produced within the EU at a fairly higher cost.

We can assist companies – and groups of companies - which import products for which an antidumping investigation has been initiated in submitting their briefings before the European Commission and in the hearings before the same authority, with the aim to add elements to the evaluation of the interest of the Union.

We believe that the imposition of additional duties can highly affect business of companies relying on the allegedly dumped products, and in this sense we ought to help you avoid any additional unnecessary cost.

Please take note of the attached briefing on the proposed intervention for any detailed information and do not hesitate to contact us for any clarification.

The European Commission initiates an anti-dumping proceeding on the import of certain iron or steel fasteners originating in the People’s Republic of China (PRC)  

Proceeding

Anti-dumping proceeding concerning import of certain iron or steel fasteners originating in the PRC

Date of publication of the notice of initiation

21 December 2020

Duration of the proceeding

13/14 months from the publication of the notice of initiation

Subject matter

Verify whether the adoption of additional duties on certain iron or steel fasteners would be in line with the Union’s industry’s, customers’ and consumers’ interests. The allegation of dumping is based on the inappropriate use of PRC’s domestic prices and costs, due to the alleged existence of significant distortions in that market

Complainant

European Industrial Fasteners Institute (EIFI), an association representing producers of bolts, screws, nuts, rivets and other mechanical industrial fasteners

Potential outcome

The imposition of additional import duties on the products under investigation imported from the PRC, with a consequent increase of their price

Products under investigation (as identified by the Commission)

Certain fasteners of iron or steel, other than of stainless steel, i.e. wood screws (excluding coach screws), self-tapping screws, other screws and bolts with heads (whether or not with their nuts or washers) and washers

Interested parties

Producers, exporters, EU manufacturers, importers and their associations, unions, consumer associations

Industries and operators potentially affected by the proceeding

Building contractors, furniture manufacturers, mechanical manufacturers

Terms so submit notices and observations

27 January 2020