Readers would be aware of progressive developments regarding the
investigation which has led to the imposition of dumping and
countervailing measures on some aluminium road wheels exported from
the People's Republic of China
However, a number of parties had lodged applications with the
Trade Measures Review Officer ("TMRO")
seeking review of the decision to impose the measures. Following
preliminary review by the TMRO, the applications have been accepted
as being in compliance with the relevant provisions of the Customs
Act 1901 and by notice in The Australian Newspaper on 17 September,
the TMRO has given notice of the initiation of its review of the
decisions leading to the imposition of measures.
A review by the TMRO adopts a different process to other reviews
with which readers may be familiar such as before the
Administrative Appeals Tribunal and the Federal Court. Accordingly,
some information as below may be of interest.
The TMRO operates within the jurisdiction of the
AttorneyGeneral's Department as opposed to the Australian
Customs and Border Protection Service
The role of the TMRO is shortly to be replaced by a new review
procedure pursuant to the Bills before Parliament.
On any review, the TMRO is confined to the material provided to
Customs and on which Customs conducted its investigation and made
The TMRO will determine whether the grounds for review set out
by applicants warrant a recommendation for a reinvestigation by
Customs. There are a variety of grounds which could warrant a
re-investigation. For example, if Customs was found to have taken
into account material which was not made available to other parties
to the investigation that could be grounds for review.
The TMRO cannot substitute an alternative decision to the
decision which it is reviewing. All it can do is to make a finding
on the review as to whether the relevant decisions warrant a
re-investigation (or not) and then make a recommendation to the
Minister for Home Affairs.
If the Minister accepts a recommendation that there should be a
re-investigation then it would be conducted by a different audit
team within Customs to that which had undertaken the original
In this case we have acted for two importers seeking review of
the decisions to impose measures by the TMRO. I understand that
others have also made application for review. For example, the
applicant for the investigation has sought review of the decision
to terminate the investigation against one of the PRC exporters and
impose no measures against that exporter.
As the notification of the review has now been published,
interested parties have a 30 day period within which to make
submissions to the TMRO. We would be pleased to provide assistance
to those wishing to make such submissions.
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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