6 EU anti-dumping, anti-subsidy and safeguard
+ ADD 1
|Commission Report on the European Union's anti-dumping, anti-subsidy and safeguard activities 2009
|Document originated||13 October 2010
|Deposited in Parliament||9 November 2010
|Department||Business, Innovation and Skills
|Basis of consideration||EM of 18 November 2010
|Previous Committee Report||None
|To be discussed in Council||No date set
|Committee's assessment||Politically important
6.1 Dumping takes place when a product is exported to another
country at less than its normal domestic price, and this causes
a material injury to an industry in the importing country. In
such circumstances, international law allows that country to take
anti-dumping measures, and, in particular, Article VI of the 1994
General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) sets out detailed
rules relating to the calculation of dumping; the procedures for
initiating and pursuing an investigation (including the establishment
and treatment of facts); the imposition of provisional measures;
the imposition and collection of anti-dumping duties; and the
duration and review of such measures. Similar procedures apply
in the case of subsidised imports.
6.2 These provisions have been enshrined in EU law.
In particular, Council Regulation (EC) No 1225/2009 allows the
Commission to take provisional measures, with substantive steps
being reserved to the Council. Because they are not inter-institutional
documents, Commission Regulations are not depositable: and, whilst
Commission proposals for Council Regulations are in principle
depositable, the extensive background analysis they provide usually
contain a great deal of commercially confidential information,
and they are therefore not published, and hence subjected to Parliamentary
scrutiny until they have been agreed by the Council. Moreover,
they are invariably cleared as not being of sufficient legal or
political importance to warrant a substantive Report to the House.
6.3 In a normal Parliamentary session, about 30-35
such measures are considered, and typically involve extensions
of existing measures; the definitive imposition of measures provisionally
introduced by the Commission; steps to prevent measures applicable
to one country being circumvented by products being routed via
another country; and variations in the level of duty imposed to
reflect either changes in the general situation in an exporting
country or the circumstances of an individual exporter.
The current document
6.4 After noting that the EU had in force 135 anti-dumping
and eight anti-subsidy measures at the end of 2009, affecting
0.6% of total imports, the Commission says that, during the year,
21 new investigations were launched. Ten cases were concluded
with the imposition of definitive duties, whilst 11 were concluded
without measures: and four measures expired automatically after
6.5 The Commission says that review investigations
accounted for a major part of its services concerned with trade
defence instruments, and involved a number of headings, as follows:
The Commission notes that measures expire after five
years, unless an expiry review demonstrates that they should be
maintained, and that 11 expiry review investigations were initiated
in 2009, of which five concluded by confirming that the duty should
be maintained for a further five years.
The Regulation provides for measures to be reviewed
during their period of validity, and the Commission says that
14 interim reviews were initiated in 2009. Thirteen of these concluded
with confirmation or amendment of the duty, and one with the termination
of the measure.
"Other" interim reviews
The Commission says that two other reviews were initiated,
and six concluded, in 2009, arising from actions following court
judgements, World Trade Organisation dispute settlement proceedings,
and the need to clarify the scope of the measures.
New exporter reviews
The Regulation allows reviews to establish an individual
dumping margin or countervailing duty for those undertakings which
did not export during the investigation period, and, where an
exporter can establish that it started to export to the EU after
that period, it is generally entitled to a duty lower that the
country-wide duty. The Commission says that six new exporter reviews
were initiated in 2009.
Where it appears that, following an investigation
and prior to or following the imposition of measures, export prices
have decreased or there has been no or insufficient movement in
the resale prices or subsequent selling prices of the imported
product in the EU, an "absorption" review may be opened
to examine whether the measure has had effects on those prices,
and that dumping margins may be recalculated and the duty increased.
However, it says that there were no such reviews in 2009.
The Commission says that the Regulation allows investigations
to be re-opened if there is evidence to show that measures are
being circumvented, and that one such investigation was initiated
in 2009, leading to an extension of duty.
The Commission says that there were no such investigations
The Government's view
6.6 In his Explanatory Memorandum of 18 November
2010, the Minister for Employment Relations, Consumer and Postal
Affairs at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
(Mr Edward Davey) says that the document relates primarily to
the decisions taken by the EU or measures in place against third
countries, and has no policy or financial implications.
6.7 Although this is a purely factual report,
we regard the Commission's anti-dumping activities as being of
some importance. Consequently, although we are content to clear
the document, we are drawing it to the attention of the House.