Another day's happy scouring of 'The Australian' newspaper on 6 November 2014 unearthed a Notice from the Anti – Dumping Commission ("ADC") announcing the commencement of a new Investigation.

In this case the Notice refers to the Investigation relating to "certain polyvinyl chloride electric flat electric cables exported from the PRC".  The Notice further identifies the cables ad being suitable for connection to the mains within a certain voltage range and complying with AS/NZ 5000.2, whether fitted with connectors or not".  The Notice also refers to the cables coming with tariff subheading 8544.49.20 (statistical code 41) and draws attention to a fuller description of the cables in ADN 2014/118 and the corresponding Consideration Report issued by the ADC.

As always I would recommend:   

  • Careful reading of the Notice, the ADN and the Consideration Report to see whether it applies to goods which you or your clients export from the PRC or import into Australia.  
  • Remaining mindful that the ADC has the option of requiring the provision of securities on account of estimated dumping margins (which need to be declared on Import Declarations).  
  • Reviewing the process of the Investigation closely to monitor the imposition of measures and any revisions during the course of the Investigation  Parties will be deemed to be aware of the developments on the ADC website.  
  • Making sure that correct securities are in place or that correct duties (if any) are in place.  
  • Actively engaging in the Investigation whether providing detailed responses to Questionnaires, assisting the ADC in its visits or questions and making submissions in relation to the Investigation.  Being deemed a "non co – operating exporter" can have significant adverse effects on the outcomes of the Investigation including higher levels of measures.  
  • Ensuring that proper provisions are made in financial accounts of importers for provisional securities and potential duties payable in the future.  This could mean adjustments in pricings to be paid by importers and, ultimately, consumers.  

To anticipate the next question, any FTA with the PRC is unlikely to have any impact on the Investigation or the imposition of measures.  Even if the current duty rate (4%) is reduced by the FTA, it is almost guaranteed that the FTA would preserve the right of Australia to impose anti – dumping and countervailing measures.