Small business gets anti-dumping legislation boost

Anti-dumping legislation is set to receive its most important improvement to date, as the Federal Government looks to lessen the impact of dumping on local businesses.

Dumping occurs when a company exports its goods to Australia at a price lower than what it charges in its home market, or below cost. Where this dumping materially injures Australian businesses producing similar goods, additional Customs duties can be applied.

According to the Minister for Home Affairs and Justice Brendan O’Connor, Australia’s economy is strong but some industries are vulnerable to dumping

“Australian manufacturers and primary producers, especially smaller businesses, are finding the expense and complexity of taking anti-dumping action can be prohibitive. Our changes will help,” he said.

The Government’s improvements to the anti-dumping system take account of recommendations from the Productivity Commission, Senator Nick Xenophon’s Private Members Bill, the views of State and Territory Governments and submissions from stakeholders.

The suite of improvements, due to be made soon, include:

Improved timeliness:

  • A 45 percent increase in Customs staff working on anti-dumping issues over the next 12 months to ensure cases are dealt with more efficiently
  • Introducing provisional measures at an earlier opportunity to remedy the negative effects of dumping sooner
  • Introducing a 30-day time limit for Ministerial decisions on anti-dumping cases.

Stronger compliance:

  • A dedicated resource within Customs to boost monitoring of measures to ensure compliance
  • Combating attempts to circumvent anti-dumping duties.

Improved decision making:

  • Greater use of trade and industry experts in investigating complaints
  • The introduction of a more rigorous appeals process supported by more resources
  • Clarifying the list of injury factors that can be claimed by domestic industry, and clarifying Customs’ approach to injury determinations
  • Providing flexibility in allowing extensions of time to complete complex cases.

Better access to the anti-dumping system:

  • A new Support Officer to support SMBs and downstream manufacturers and producers to actively participate in anti-dumping investigations
  • Improving access to imports and subsidies data, and clarifying the data requirements for making an application
  • Clarifying the parties who can participate in investigations to include relevant industry associations, unions and downstream industry
  • Providing a more flexible basis for parties wishing to seek a review of existing measures.

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