New Commonwealth Anti-Dumping Commission
4 December 2012: The Government has announced several anti-dumping reforms, including the establishment of a new Anti-Dumping Commission based in Melbourne. Legislation to establish the Commission will be introduced in 2013. Other key measures announced include:
- Extra funding for Customs to increase the number of officers investigating anti-dumping cases ($24.4 million over four years)
- Changes to make the anti-dumping system easier for small and medium-sized businesses to use
- Introducing stricter remedies against overseas producers deliberately circumventing the Australian anti-dumping rules.
The reforms implement recommendations made by John Brumby, former Victorian premier, following his review of the administration of the anti-dumping system (details below), together with some additional measures aimed at strengthening the system.
Brumby Review recommendations
The Government has released the report of the recent Brumby Review into Anti-Dumping Arrangements.
The purpose of the review was to examine the current arrangements for assessing and investigating anti-dumping matters and consider the feasibility of a Commonwealth anti-dumping agency.
According to the report, the administration of anti-dumping and countervailing activities in Australia is currently under-resourced and underperforming, and this can be best addressed by putting in place a more robust administration with a defined identity, higher profile, stronger leadership and adequate resources. The primary recommendations made to the Government in the report are:
- Establish a new International Trade Remedies Agency under legislation. The agency must be separately and adequately resourced, and headed by a legislated CEO or Commissioner who reports directly to the Minister for Home Affairs and Justice. The agency should be established within Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to preserve the links with CBP that are critical to the effectiveness of the anti-dumping and countervailing system
- The new agency should be (principally) located in a major capital city where there is a high concentration of Australian industry
- Adequate resources should be made available immediately to facilitate establishing the new agency and ensure that the underlying issues of concern are addressed quickly.
The report includes ten secondary recommendations dealing with staffing and operational matters in connection with the new agency.
The recommendations followed several key findings made during the review, including the likelihood that Australia will experience increasing levels of dumped and subsidised imports in the foreseeable future.
The Government’s response to the recommendations has not yet been announced.
Other recent anti-dumping reform changes
On 27 November 2012, amendments to the current anti-dumping laws were passed by the Senate and now await Royal Assent. The amendments further implement the Government’s Streamlining Australia’s Anti Dumping System policy that was announced in June 2011 in response to recommendations made by the Productivity Commission in 2010 in its report Australia’s Anti-dumping and Countervailing System.
In summary, the amendments:
- Establish a new appeals process for anti-dumping matters
- Establish the International Trade Remedies Forum in legislation (a stakeholder body of representatives from manufacturers, producers, importers, industry associations, trade unions and relevant government agencies)
- Remove the need for a separate review of anti-dumping measures and continuation inquiries to be run in close proximity to each other
- Allow different forms of interim dumping duty to be applied from those currently used
- Remove the current limitation to the inclusion of profit when calculating the 'normal value' of a good in its country of origin, in certain circumstances
- Better aligns Australia's anti-dumping and countervailing system with those of Australia’s WTO counterparts
- Strengthen the provisions dealing with non-cooperation in sampling exercises in investigations, continuation inquiries or reviews
- Allow Australian industry, or the Minister, to bring about an anti-circumvention inquiry.
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