Levelling the playing field – changes to Australia’s Anti-dumping laws
The Government has implemented reforms to Australia’s anti-dumping system aimed at ensuring Australian manufacturers and producers are able to compete on a level playing field with imported goods.
The reforms include strengthening Australia’s anti-dumping rules, reducing red tape and improving certainty for businesses accessing the system. These measures deliver the Government’s anti-dumping election commitments and make further improvements, including addressing behaviours of firms seeking to avoid payment of duties. The package also improves access to the system through the provision of greater assistance to businesses.
Importantly, all of the reforms comply with Australia’s World Trade Organization and other international trade obligations. They are also consistent with the Government’s strong and historic support for genuinely free and fair trade, and for Australia to operate as an open and dynamic market economy.
Fulfilling the Government’s election commitments
Place a greater onus on overseas businesses
- The Minister has directed the Anti-Dumping Commissioner that, wherever possible, provisional measures be imposed at day 60 of an investigation. This is the earliest time in an investigation that provisional measures can be considered.
- This change will encourage parties, especially overseas exporters, to provide prompt and full submissions to the Anti-Dumping Commission.
- When provisional measures are not imposed, the Commissioner will publish a report outlining why a preliminary affirmative determination was not able to be made at that time. This will assist businesses seeking anti-dumping measures to identify relevant information that could be provided to further the investigation.
- These changes are consistent with Australia’s obligations under the World Trade Organization agreements.
- The direction can be viewed on the ComLaw website.
More stringent deadlines for submissions
- The deadline for the submission of information at the start of investigations has been reduced from 40 days to 37 days. This reform is also in line with Australia’s commitments under the World Trade Organization agreements.
- The change is complemented by a more rigorous approach to enforcing the deadline for submissions and the Anti-Dumping Commissioner will only agree to extensions when necessary and reasonable.
Cracking down on uncooperative exporters
- The Minister has directed the Anti-Dumping Commissioner on the circumstances in which the Minister would be satisfied that an exporter is uncooperative. This will encourage greater cooperation from exporters, as being considered uncooperative can result in heavier duties being imposed against them.
- The direction can be viewed on the ComLaw website.
Pursuing foreign subsidies in international forums
- The Government is taking a stronger stance in World Trade Organization forums on the transparency of foreign subsidies, which will assist in ensuring that Australian manufacturers and producers are able to compete fairly.
Other improvements to Australia’s anti-dumping laws
Improving merits review
- A number of changes have been made to improve the way the merits review of anti-dumping decisions is undertaken by the Anti-Dumping Review Panel.
- This includes raising the legal threshold for applications, and introducing a scaled fee for seeking appeal.
- The changes also include allowing the Anti-Dumping Commission to formally participate in reviews conducted by the Anti-Dumping Review Panel to actively inform the review process in a way that is open and transparent.
- More information is available on the Anti-Dumping Review Panel website.
Better access and assistance for Australian businesses
- The Government has implemented a range of new and expanded information and support services for Australian companies including the establishment of an Anti-Dumping Information Service, the expansion of the International Trade Remedies Advisory service and a hotline as a central point of contact for enquiries about Australia’s anti-dumping system. This will assist Australian businesses injured by dumping or subsidisation to bring applications to the Anti-Dumping Commission.
- In addition, as part of the Anti-Dumping Information Service, a market research function has been established to enhance the capability of the anti-dumping investigators. It provides targeted economic analysis of trends and trading behaviours across markets to provide better information earlier in the investigations process.
- These improvements are partly funded by discontinuing the rarely used Import Data Financial Assistance Programme.
- Overseas exporters and Australian importers that engage in activities that circumvent anti-dumping duties undermine the relief that the duties provide to Australian manufacturers and producers.
- A new regulation has been created to address emerging behaviours relating to overseas exporters slightly modifying their goods in order to circumvent anti-dumping duties that are currently in place.
- The Government will monitor closely the effectiveness of this new regulation.
- More information about the new anti-circumvention regulation is available.
Reducing red tape and improving certainty
- A number of legislative changes have been made to modernise anti-dumping laws and reduce unnecessary red tape to improve the certainty of Australia’s anti-dumping system.
- Legislation has commenced to:
- confirm the ability to retrospectively refund duties after an exemption inquiry;
- create a single lodgement provision for all anti-dumping processes that also permits electronic lodgement;
- allow anti-dumping decisions to be notified solely on the internet;
- clarify that an investigation period cannot be changed after it is established;
- clarify that cumulating injury from multiple sources can be considered by the Anti-Dumping Commissioner in termination decisions;
- clarify that, where domestic selling prices in the exporting market are not suitable for calculating normal value, there is no requirement to consider third country prices before resorting to construction of costs;
- clarify that when a dumping margin is determined for a good, the margin must be for the entire investigation period (including when the period is split into shorter periods);
- clarify that a determination of material injury caused by dumping for a period earlier than the investigation period cannot be made;
- clarify that anti-dumping measures persist for a total period of five years irrespective of whether the form of the measure changes within that period; and
- amend Australia’s provisions for accelerated reviews of new exporters.