Changes to Australia's Anti Dumping / Countervailing Regime

Overview of key amendments
29 November 2011

The Australian Government is undertaking significant reforms of Australia's existing anti-dumping and countervailing regime. These reforms take into account the Productivity Commission's recent report into the area, the views of state and territory governments, the reports of the Senate Economics Legislation Committee, and submissions made by stakeholders.

Key changes

The following table outlines the key changes to the existing system:

# Headline Change Nature of Principal Changes Form of Implementation
1 Better Access to the Anti-Dumping System Establishment of a 'Small and Medium Enterprise Support Office' (SSO) to work with business to enable them to prepare for applications and provide submissions during an investigation; Increased funding 
Improving access to import and subsidies data held by the Australian Bureau of Statistics; Increased funding 
Enable applications to be made for a partial review of measures (which need not be comprehensive in terms of factors covered) Legislative amendment
2 Improved Timelines More resources – Staff  increase from 31 to 45. This will enhance the Branch's capabilities and allow for improved investigations and decision making Increased funding 
Process for providing evidence – Will be reviewed to ensure interested parties are given enough time to respond to submissions and reports Legislative amendment
Earlier consideration of provisional measures from day 80-140 to day 60 where there is evidence of dumping and subsidisation Changes to the Manual
Time limit for Ministerial decision decreased to 30 days from the day of receiving the report of an investigation, continuation inquiry, review of measures, duty assessment, or report following a review of a decision. Legislative amendment
3 Enhanced Decision Making Greater use of experts to supplement existing staff expertise in complex cases, advising on determinations of like goods, production processes and costs, accounting arrangements, statistical analysis, economic modelling, and economic impact studies. Increased funding 
Proposed review of how to improve the 'market situation' provisions, such as the relevance of government influence in respect of key product inputs, how government ownership can contribute to a particular market situation or distort domestic selling prices, and how to assess particular market situations where a country or exporters do not cooperate   Working group established followed by legislative amendment
New appeals process – replacement of Trade Measures Review Officer appeals with administrative appeals process, and an increase in the range of decisions which may be appealed (such as decisions of the Minister whether to continue measures or not, and to vary measures following review). Legislative amendment
Allowance for consideration of new evidence received late in the investigation will be permitted, as a result of the proposed extensions in time.  
Amendment to the Customs Act to allow the Minister to consider any impact on jobs in the domestic industry producing like goods, not just the effects which are currently listed in the Act. Legislative amendment, revision of Ministerial Directions, and amendments to the Manual
New ability for the Branch to seek more than one extension to the timeframe at any point during an investigation, review of measures, continuation inquiry, or duty assessment. Legislative amendment
Greater transparency in the decision making process, such as the inclusion of the criteria and methodology used to evaluate applications being included in the Manual, and further reporting on applications and measures received and imposed.  Amendments to the Manual and additional resources.
4 Consistency with Other Countries Amendments to the subsidies provisions to reflect all 'countervailable subsidies,' including assistance for a broader range of activities such as research, help given to disadvantaged regions, enabling adaptation to new environmental requirements, and other government programs that provide services to benefits to agriculture.   
Clarification of when a party will be considered as 'uncooperative.' This will deter the selective provision of information and allow a fairer basis for assessing whether goods have been dumped or are being subsidised. Amendments to the Manual
Consultation on whether improvements can be made to the methods used to calculate 'non-injurious price' upon which lesser duty is paid Consultation and possible legislative amendment
Amending the definition of 'interested party' to clarify that organisations such as industry associations, trade unions, and downstream industries who have a direct interest in a particular matter are included.  Legislative amendment
Adoption of a more flexible approach to setting the form of duty imposed (taking into account the facts of the case) such as an ad valorem duty, fixed amount, combination, or floor price. Legislative amendment
Consideration of cases and practices in other jurisdictions where relevant, such as where subsidies have been found in particular industries, or the existence of measures in other jurisdiction which may indicate that dumping would occur should measures be removed by Australia Additional resources
5 Stronger Compliance Improved monitoring of compliance with duties via the creation of a position to develop improved systems to ensure measures are being complied with  Additional resources
Introduction of a framework to prevent the circumvention of duties, such as where manufacturers make slight modifications to goods so they fall outside the description of goods subject to measures, importing consignments via third counties, or assembling goods in Australia or a third country. Additional resources
Implementation of 'Operation BLUENET' to police compliance and prevent anti-circumvention Additional resources
6 Additional matters Inclusion of an assessment when reporting findings to the Minister as to the expected effects that any measures might have on the Australian market for the goods subject to such measures, and like goods in Australia, to assist the Minister in exercising their unfettered discretion Additional step in process
7 Implementation Establishment of the International Trade Remedies Forum to advise on the implementation of the proposed reforms Additional resources
New integrated system of case management to replace the Electronic Public Record Additional resources