A number of you would have been aware that we have been closely
involved with the ongoing investigation by the Australian Customs
and Border Protection Service ("Customs") into alleged
dumping of hot rolled coil steel
("HRCS") exported from Japan, the
Republic of Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan.
Yesterday, Customs issued a Statement of Essential Facts
("SEF") in which it set outs its
preliminary views on the existence of dumping of HRCS and injury
from that dumping. Generally, Customs has confirmed its preliminary
view that there has been dumping causing material injury to the
Australian industry (ie Bluescope Limited) and set out proposed
dumping margins between 3.3% to 15.45%. These are not final
measures and interested parties have 20 days to make submissions to
Customs findings before Customs finalises its report to the
Minister and the Minister imposes duties.
Of interest, in and among the other parts of the SEF, Customs
has found that there was, in fact, no material injury caused by
dumping of HRCS exported and used in the automotive sector in
Australia but that it does not have the legislative means to
terminate the investigation in relation to those exports as it can
only do so for particular countries. That does raise pressure on
the Australian Government to find a means to exempt from dumping
duty HRCS which is imported for use in the automotive industry. If
it does not find a way to do so, then the result could be that
Australian automotive manufacturers have to pay duty on goods even
when there is no injury found (at least at this stage) to the
Australian steel industry.
At the same time the SEF was issued, Customs also issued a
preliminary affirmative determination (PAD). This
could have been issued by Customs as early as day 60 of the
investigation but as I had anticipated, it was not issued until
Customs had undertaken a more comprehensive examination such as
that referred to in the SEF. The PAD supports the imposition of
"securities" by Customs on imports of HRCS from the
affected countries due to the anticipated dumping. The amount of
securities will depend upon the country of export and the nature of
the steel being imported. Those securities will take effect for
imports from 5 October 2012 and importers and their licensed
customs brokers should now be taking immediate action to ensure
that the securities are, in fact, in place to enable imports to be
As always, we will be pleased to assist others if required.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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