Australian Customs initiates investigation into alleged
dumping and subsidisation of Biodiesel exported from the United
States of America
Today (22 June 2009), the Australian Customs and Border
Protection Service ("Customs") has
published a notice confirming that it had resolved to initiate an
investigation into alleged dumping of biodiesel exported from the
USA. The initiation application was lodged by Biodiesel Producers
Limited ("BPL"), an Australian
manufacturer of biodiesel.
The Subject Goods
The initiation application describes the subject goods
("Goods") as: "Fuel manufactured by chemically altering non-fossil
origin feedstocks (including recycled materials from these sources)
through a process of transesterification and/or esterification to
form mono-alkyl esters (commonly known as 'biodiesel')
whether in pure form (B100) or in a blend with a biodiesel
percentage in excess of 20% (B20)."
The Goods have been identified as falling within the following
subheadings 2710.11.80, 2710.19.80, 2710.91.80, 2710.99.80,
32824.90.20 and 3824.90.30 in Schedule 3 of the Customs Tariff Act
1995 and all currently attract a general customs duty rate of
$0.38143 per litre.
BPL claims that the Goods are being exported to Australia from
the USA at dumped prices. BPL relied on information reported by the
Australian Bureau of Statistics for shipments exceeding 1ML to
estimate export prices of biodiesel from the USA. The information
shows four shipments from the USA in January 2009, April 2009, May
2009 and February 2010. In its application, BPL provides estimated
dumping margins as a percentage of the FOB export price for the
four shipments. Customs has modified BPL's calculations and
estimates that the dumping margins are as follows:
BPL also claims that countervailable subsidies have been
received in respect of biodiesel exported to Australia through an
excise tax/income tax credit scheme. The application notes that the
scheme expired on 31 December 2009 but legislation to extend the
scheme to 31 December 2010 and to reinstate the scheme
retrospectively to 31 December 2009 is likely to be passed in the
US Congress. BPL has estimated that the amount of subsidy provided
under the scheme would be approximately $0.30 per litre of 40 per
cent of the estimated export price.
Alleged Injury to the Australian Industry
BPL alleges that the Goods exported from the USA to Australia at
prices below their normal values have caused material injury to the
Australian industry through:
lost market sales volume;
lost market share;
reduced profits and profitability;
reduced return on investment;
reduced capital utilisation;
lower employee numbers and;
reduced hours worked.
Invitation for Interested Parties to Provide Submissions
The notice released by Customs invites interested parties to
provide submissions concerning the application before close of
business on 2 August 2010.
As many of you will be aware, we have extensive experience in
acting in anti-dumping and countervailing measures whether for
Australian industry in the initiation of measures or acting for
overseas exporters and Australian importers of goods the subject of
such anti-dumping or countervailing action. As always, we will be
pleased to assist parties in relation to this important
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