On 15 November 2017, the European Parliament adopted new rules changing the EU’s anti-dumping and anti-subsidy legislation. The new legislation was proposed by the European Commission in November 2016, and an agreement on its proposal was reached in October 2017.

The new rules introduce a different way to calculate dumping in anti-dumping investigations on imports from members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in case prices and costs are distorted because of State intervention. They also provide for transitional arrangements for trade defence measures which already exist as well as for ongoing investigations and include provisions on the way the EU investigates subsidies provided by governments outside the EU which give their exporting producers an unfair advantage, causing damage to manufacturers in the EU.

The new methodology to calculate dumping will take into account, for the first time, social and environmental standards, that will play a role in the context of trade defence. In particular, where the Commission has a choice between a number of appropriate representative countries with a similar level of economic development as the exporting country under investigation, the level of social and environmental protection in the representative source country will be taken into account in the selection.

The proposed changes do not impose any additional burden on EU industry when using the instruments, since it will be the Commission that will have the additional work to establish that significant distortions exist in a particular country. When lodging a request for the initiation of an anti-dumping investigation EU industry will be able to rely on the Commission’s detailed country and sector level reports as evidence that distortions exist.

The new rules will enter into force after the Council formally approved them and they are published in the Official Journal of the EU.