Legislation to further strengthen Australia’s anti-dumping regime recently passed through the Parliament and will operate from 1 July 2003.
These changes are consistent with Australia’s WTO and other international trade obligations and will bring the system more into line with the approach taken by the US and Europe.
They include establishing a new Anti-Dumping Commission, a funding boost for the anti-dumping system, improved responsiveness, efficiency and effectiveness and reduced cost and complexity for users.
Dumping – definition
Dumping occurs when export prices are below normal selling prices in the exporting country. Import duties can be imposed when it causes or threatens material injury to the industry producing like goods in the importing country. Likewise subsidies that have a similar effect are actionable by countervailing duties.
The new Commission will be based in Melbourne and the additional resources are expected to lead to improved response times, more rigorous analysis, less red tape, better transparency and improve public confidence in the system.
The law surrounding the application of retroactive duties is to be clarified and simplified while a new review mechanism and increased penalties will deal with circumvention of duty arrangements by importers. Duties will also be leviable at the full dumping margin in many cases rather than at a level just sufficient to offset the injury.
These reforms will be introduced in consultation with the International Trade Remedies Forum, a stakeholder body established to provide strategic advice and feedback to government on the operation of the system.
These reforms complement the changes implemented in June 2011 that improved the timeliness of investigations, increased resources, improved decision making and provided greater access to the system to small and medium sized enterprises.
The government says it remains committed to an open trade environment and remains a strong defender of the rules governing international trade. As there is no international agreement on anti-competitive practices, an anti-dumping system is the only means of countering unfair market behaviour globally.
The message is clear for those exporting goods to Australia and for importers alike – follow the rules or be prepared to accept substantially stiffer penalties for non-compliance.
Contributed by Peter Kittler (Canberra) – email@example.com