The role of the Anti-Dumping Commission (ADC) is to administer Australia’s anti-dumping and countervailing system. The ADC investigates claims that dumped and subsidised imports have caused injury to Australian industry. Following its investigation, the commissioner of the ADC may then make recommendations to the responsible minister who is the decision-maker in relation to these matters.
Find further information on the functions of the ADC.
The purpose of this guideline is to provide clarity to stakeholders as to how the ADC:
- obtains information
- uses that information (including the use of information obtained for one matter, for another matter)
- discloses that information outside the ADC.
Please note: this guideline summarises the ADC’s approach in broad terms. It does not cover all relevant legislation and general law principles, nor is it a substitute for independent advice.
When this guideline refers to the ADC it is not only referring to staff but also advisors, contractors or consultants that may have been engaged to conduct specific work on behalf of the ADC.
The application of this guideline will depend on the particular situation. The ADC may depart from the guideline where appropriate.
1.1. Why we collect information
In the course of carrying out its functions, the ADC collects and uses different types of information for different purposes within a well-defined statutory framework.
We collect, hold, use and in some instances, disclose your information for the purposes of:
- investigating claims of dumping and/or subsidisation
- continuing or reviewing measures currently in place
- considering whether a prescribed circumvention activity has occurred
- assessing duty paid by importers
- considering goods exemptions upon application
- responding to applications for merits and judicial review
- answering queries by providing information about the anti-dumping system, as well as existing and completed cases, and sending communications upon request
- updating our records and keeping your contact details up-to-date
- other duties as required by the ADC to perform its functions.
2. Collection of information
In the course of carrying out its principle functions, the ADC collects and receives information from a variety of sources. The information may be publicly available or may be provided directly by an interested party, including Australian industry, importers, exporters, suppliers, end users and other government agencies.
2.1. Primary sources of information collected by the ADC
Under the Customs Act 1901 (Cth) (the Act) a party may apply for a dumping and/or countervailing duty notice (section 269TB), duty assessment (section 269W), review and/or revocation of measures (section 269ZA), anti‑circumvention inquiry (section 269ZDBC), accelerated review (section 269ZF) or continuation of measures (section 269ZHB).
Under the Customs Tariff (Anti-Dumping) Act 1975 (Cth) (Dumping Duty Act), a party may also apply for exemptions to duty notices (sections 8(7) and 10(8)).
Applicants are required to provide supporting evidence and information to support claims made in the application.
Integrated Cargo System (ICS)
ICS is the Australian Border Force (ABF) database that records all relevant data associated with all imports and exports. Once an application for a case has been submitted, the ADC may access this import data and particular shipments relevant to the case.
During a case, interested parties are invited to complete a questionnaire and return it to the ADC. Completed questionnaires are required to include commercial information and accompanying evidence.
Once questionnaires are received, the information, evidence and data may be verified. Investigators may perform onsite verification visits or remote verification activities to verify the required data and request further information if necessary.
Interested parties are invited to lodge submissions to provide further information or data to further their claims for the relevant case.
The ADC purchases market information from various subscriptions, which is often used during investigations. The ADC may also purchase market reports specific to the conduct of a case.
2.2. ADC approach
The ADC obtains information from interested parties on a voluntary basis. No individual or business is required or compelled to provide information. The ADC is committed to treating information it receives confidentially, responsibly and in accordance with the law.
All cases are conducted in a transparent manner and with due process so that interested parties have the opportunity to present their views. For all case types, except duty assessments, the ADC maintains an electronic public record (EPR) on its website. The EPR contains a non-confidential version of the application, non-confidential submissions, relevant correspondence, and reports and notices prepared by the ADC.
The ADC recognises the provision of information by interested parties may involve considerable time and effort, as well as costs. The ADC is committed to collecting information responsibly in accordance with the applicable law, including, but not limited to:
- the Act, in particular circumstances whereby the ADC is required to invite parties to provide information in relation to a specific case
- general principles of administrative and equitable law.
Where practical and appropriate, the ADC will draw upon existing information to minimise the burden placed on those from whom the information would be requested.
2.3. Providing information
The ADC is committed to treating all information responsibly and in accordance with applicable law. To protect confidential information, information provided must be available in both ‘confidential’ and ‘non-confidential’ versions, preferably in electronic format (in both Microsoft Word and PDF format) via email or SIGBOX (for applications, contact email@example.com for instructions).
- Confidential version – a version that includes all information required and relevant to the case being conducted. This version should clearly be marked as ‘confidential’ to reduce any risk of inadvertent disclosure. This version will be treated as confidential and will not be published on the EPR or provided to any other party if to do so would breach any applicable law.
- Public version – Section 269ZI of the Act requires a public version to be provided to the ADC. This version is to be publicly accessible through the relevant EPR case page of the ADC website. To provide commercial-in-confidence information (and any other information not to be published) you must either:
- redact the confidential information and provide it in a separate document for publication. This version should clearly be marked ‘public’
- provide a summary of the information (for submissions) containing enough detail to allow sufficient understanding of the information.
Further instructions are on the ADC webpage.
Please note: when providing information to the ADC, ensure that you have the authority to provide that information to a third party. If information, confidential or otherwise, is posted to the ADC, registered post should be used. The ADC is not responsible for any loss of documents not signed for.
3. Use of information
Any information provided by parties in relation to a specific case may be used by the ADC for any purpose consistent with its statutory functions.
Requesting the same information multiple times unnecessarily duplicates work and extends waiting periods during time-critical cases. In situations where the information cannot be obtained again, it may prevent the ADC from properly performing its statutory functions, lead to incorrect outcomes and/or unnecessarily delay case milestones.
3.1. ADC approach
The ADC’s general approach is as follows:
- Information (including confidential information) collected by the ADC for any purpose consistent with the ADC’s statutory functions may be viewed by the commissioner and ADC staff as well as the relevant minister and their staff. Further disclosure may be required and is described below.
- If the ADC has obtained information in the course of one case which is relevant to another case, in general, the ADC will use that information in the other case if it is relevant, subject to any applicable law prohibiting such use.
- The ADC will generally not accept conditions that seek to limit the use of information to one particular matter, unless required under law.
3.2. How the information is stored and accessed
Once the ADC receives information, it is maintained in a secure environment in either electronic or hard copy form. The ADC takes reasonable steps to ensure the information is protected from misuse and loss and from unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. As described above, redacted confidential information and information for public release is published on the ADC website for anyone to view.
If you believe that any information we hold about you is incorrect, incomplete or inaccurate, then you may request to have it amended and we will take reasonable steps to correct or update your information. You may request access to any information we hold about you at any time by contacting us directly using the contact details at the bottom of this page.
4. Disclosure of information
The ADC is subject to a number of legal prohibitions which prevent the unauthorised disclosure of information.
4.1. Disclosure of confidential information
The ADC recognises that disclosure of confidential information in respect of a business may have substantial commercial implications. However, as the ADC’s functions often affect other parties, disclosure of some information may be necessary to meet legal requirements for open and transparent decision-making. In these circumstances the ADC may use aggregated data, such as tables, graphs and indices to demonstrate general trends rather than specific information.
The circumstances in which the ADC may disclose confidential information to a third party include:
- under section 269SMT of the Act, the ADC is permitted to disclose confidential information to the ABF for the purposes of the Act
- if a decision following the conclusion of a case is appealed to the Anti-Dumping Review Panel (ADRP), any court within Australia or the World Trade Organization, the ADC may provide confidential information relating to the case
- in order to comply with the rules of procedural fairness by making a party aware of the substance of the issues which may adversely affect their interests
- in response to a subpoena issued in proceedings between third parties
- in response to a statutory discovery obligation to disclose documents
- in response to a minister, parliament or another government agency’s power to obtain information.
4.2. Disclosure of personal information
The Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) prohibits the ADC from disclosing personal information for a purpose other than the purpose for which it was collected, unless required by law.
5. Other references
The ADC has published forms and guidelines on how to apply for dumping and/or countervailing investigations and other related inquiries. These include details on information the ADC requires to initiate inquiries and requirements on the provision of confidential and non-confidential applications.
Find further details on how the ADC operates, key legislation, directions and policy.