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Government speeds up anti-dumping process

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JOHN BUTTON M inister for







Australian companies and producers facing material injury caused by unfair competition from overseas will have access to some of the speediest anti-dumping remedies in the world following reforms

announced today by the Federal Government.

In a Statement to Parliament the Minister for Industry, Technology and Commerce, Senator John Button, said time limits on investigations of alleged dumping by foreign competitors would be cut by 10 days.

The Customs Service would have 25 days, down from 35, to make its initial consideration of a complaint of alleged dumping on the Australian market (except in unusually difficult cases).

Customs would then have a further 100 days to make a preliminary finding. After this, the Anti Dumping Authority would have 120 days to make a final finding.

Speaking outside Parliament, Senator Button said this would give Australia one of the speediest systems for handling complaints in the world - faster than the US, Canada and the European Community.

The 10 day reduction in the statutory time limits follows a 40 day reduction announced in the Government's Industry Statement in March this year.

"The new time limits announced today strike the right balance between the need for speedy but fair and thorough investigations," he said. "They also ensure importers and exporters can have their say before a

final determination is reached."

The new time limits are part of a series of changes to the anti dumping and countervailing system announced by Senator Button. The reforms follow a review of the system and a report by the Senate Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology.

Senator Button said the Government would extend the life of the Anti Dumping Authority, currently due to expire in 1993, to 2001. The present split of responsibilities for anti-dumping between Customs and

the Authority would continue. I c o ‘"m 0 nwealth





Other major changes to the system are:

. Customs will be given powers to take reasonable steps during the initial consideration of applications to verify claims and fill gaps in applications using confidential information which was not provided by


. Customs will be given the power not to accept applications that are not properly documented.

. The automatic termination provisions on anti-dumping and countervailing duties will be extended to five years and an opportunity will be provided for a review prior to automatic termination.

. Provision will be made for suspension of an inquiry at the Minister's discretion upon acceptance of an undertaking, and for investigations to be re-opened if there has been a breach of a price undertaking.

. The Minister will be given discretion in the apportionment of anti-dumping and countervailing duties in cases involving simultaneous dumping and subsidisation.

. A new system for the imposition of anti-dumping and countervailing duties will be introduced.

. Additional resources will be allocated to the Authority and to Customs to enable those organizations to cope with a greatly increased workload and expand the operations of the Customs Business Liaison Unit.

. Tender dumping (tendering a dumped price) will be referred to the ADA for investigation.

Senator Button said the Government would, subject to the necessary legislation, introduce a significant change in the method of calculating and levying duties to be paid by people or companies found to be dumping.

The duty payable will in future be calculated on the basis of:

. the margin of dumping, or the amount of subsidy determined by the Minister subsequent to an inquiry or in a subsequent review; or

. a lesser margin or amount if that lesser margin or amount is determined by the Minister to be sufficient to remove the injury.

There will be an administrative review on request by interested parties twelve months after the duties are imposed. If, following the review, it is established that excess duties have been collected during the period of review, the excess refunded.


Senator Button said the Government recognised the important part played by imports in the Australian economy.

"We will not allow injury to local industry from dumped goods," he said. "But we will not allow the anti-dumping system to be used as a de facto form of protection.

"We have put in place one of the fastest anti-dumping systems in the world, a system which is fair to both importers and exporters."

Copies of Senator Button's Ministerial Statement are available from his Parliament House office.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION : Mike Roberts Senator Button's Office Tel : (06) 277 7580

Brian Meredyth DITAC Tel : (06) 276 1810