The Costa Rican Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEIC) recently issued a new manual to provide the national productive sector with guidelines in order to identify and take action in the launching, investigation and imposition of anti-dumping, countervailing and safeguard measures.

The manual is a result of an effort between the MEIC and PROCALIDAD Project, an initiative funded by the European Union and the Government of Costa Rica in order to support participation of small and medium-size enterprises (SME) in the international market. The manual includes guidelines with regards to procedures where the domestic industry is being hurt and asks the imposition of countervailing measures, as well as the inverse situation where foreign countries, particularly the European Union, are being affected.

Detailed procedures are set out on how anti-dumping cases are to be initiated in Costa Rica, how the investigations are to be conducted according to specified rules, and the conditions for ensuring that all interested parties are given an opportunity to present evidence. The manual includes a reference to the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Procedure when necessary. 

Market opening and new dynamics in global economy make countries experience economic integration and reduction of international trade barriers, but it can also lead to market distortion and unfair competition practices. To avoid it, the World Trade Organization (WTO) allows countries the option to take measures to ensure convergence and equality, and permits members to impose trade remedies or trade defense measures against imports to protect their domestic industries from unfair practices such as dumping and subsidies, or to cope with a sudden surge of foreign goods.

The release of this manual is a significant achievement as it is a basic tool for the national productive sector, providing guidance to identify the existence of unfair trade practices affecting their economic rights in the context of economic globalization of today.