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Thursday, 13 October 1983
Page: 1804

Question No. 499

Mr Lloyd asked the Minister representing the Minister for Industry and Commerce , upon notice on 13 September 1983:

(1) What action is his Department taking in relation to the industry allegation that canned ham from Spain has been dumped in Australia.

(2) What is the general situation in relation to imported canned ham since the previous Government took action in the early 1980s.

Mr John Brown —The Minister for Industry and Commerce has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1) Following inquiries made by the Australian industry, the Minister informed the industry in writing on 15 April 1983 that his Department was aware of imports of canned ham from Spain and that on the basis of available preliminary evidence, dumping may not be taking place.

The industry was also advised that the Department was prepared to examine the matter further but it was necessary for a formal complaint to be lodged.

The industry has not yet lodged a formal complaint.

(2) In 1980, the dumping complaint against exports of canned ham from Romania and Yugoslavia was suspended following the acceptance of voluntary price undertakings from the exporters involved. The acceptance of such an undertaking is a satisfactory method of resolution to a dumping complaint provided such an undertaking as to future price removes any injury which has, or will be caused to the industry.

Further overseas inquiries were conducted in December 1982. Revised price undertakings were accepted by the Minister on 14 June 1983 in accordance with sub-section 8 (2A) of the Customs Tariff (Anti-Dumping) Act 1975. The voluntary undertakings by exporters in Romania and Yugoslavia not to export below the normal values represent the equivalent of any possible action available under the Customs (Anti-Dumping) Act 1975.

The undertakings will be reviewed again when movements in overseas domestic prices warrant such action.

Imports of canned ham from Romania and Yugoslavia are accorded developing country preference when imported under quota arrangements. Quotas of 900 tonnes a year of canned ham from developing countries were imposed from 1 June 1982.

Imports of canned ham are monitored by the Department. There have not been any imports of canned ham from Romania or Yugoslavia this calendar year to the end of August.

Total imports of canned ham from all sources since 1 January 1983 are 16.8 tonnes. This includes 15 tonnes from Spain in January 1983. The date of the last import of canned ham was in February 1983 of less than one tonne from West Germany.