Australia: Australian Customs Initiate Investigation Into Alleged Dumping And Subsidisation In Relation To Aluminium Extrusions From China

Last Updated: 26 June 2009
Article by Andrew Hudson

Yesterday (24 June 2009), the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service ("Customs") published a notice confirming that it had resolved to initiate an investigation into alleged dumping and subsidisation in relation to Chinese exports of aluminium extrusion products.

The publication of the notice represents Customs' "prima facie" finding of dumping and subsidisation in relation to the Chinese exported products contrary to the provisions of the Customs Act 1901. The initiation followed extensive pre-initiation discussions between the applicant for the measures (Capral Limited) and Chinese interests, including the government of the People's Republic of China ("PRC").

The initiation of the investigation is a significant matter as there is a large market for the products in Australia and Australian producers have made significant investment in plant and equipment to produce the products here. Interestingly, the Customs "Initiation Report" refers to 2 potential Australian producers of aluminium extrusions that are expected to commence production in 2009 (being Ullrich Aluminium Pty Ltd and Extrusion Profiles Australia).

The initiation of the investigation follows a recent trend where measures imposed on products overseas are then followed with an application for measures in relation to those products as they are imported into Australia. For example, the application for measures in relation to alleged dumping of canned mushrooms imported from China in Australia followed similar measures having been applied in the United States. In this case, there has been a recent and major action in Canada against the same products. That action led to the imposition of measures on these products in Canada.

The fact of the previous action raises the issue as to the reliance on information and findings by the Canadian Border Services Agency ("CBSA"). While the WTO Agreements set the framework for the imposition of measures, different countries implement that framework differently. Clearly, the Australian industry will be maintaining that our system is very close to the Canadian system, on which basis measures should be imposed here. Customs' Initiation Report reflects that the applicant relied significantly on findings by the CBSA in the Canadian action especially in relation to a number of fundamental issues described below. Doubtlessly, those wishing to seek to oppose the imposition of measures on imports into Australia will take the position that there should not be undue reliance by Customs on the findings of the CBSA.

Further, material provided by Customs in support of its initiation of the investigation does raise some interesting issues.

  • Customs has accepted the applicant's arguments that due to specific market conditions in the PRC (namely, levels of direct and indirect government influence), Customs should not accept local prices in the PRC as the basis for determining "normal value". While Customs has not accepted the arguments from the applicant that normal values should be based on prices paid on the London Metal Exchange (including a 10% profit margin), Customs has constructed its own "normal value" for Chinese aluminium extrusions using the applicant's "constructed selling price" and subtracting amounts for "profit and export administration expenses". However, the analysis is only provided in a confidential appendix which is not openly available. There will doubtlessly be representations that the refusal to use local PRC normal values is inappropriate. There will also be significant debate about the alternative means used by Customs to determine normal value.
  • Customs has accepted that there is prima facie evidence of subsidies provided in PRC which support the imposition of countervailing duties to take into account those subsidies. In doing so, the applicant had indicated (consistent with claims by the applicants in the Canadian actions) that there were 56 programs which supported the imposition of countervailing duties. However, following further assessment and in a manner consistent with the findings by the CBSA, Customs came to the conclusion (on a prima facie basis) that only 15 of the programs supported the imposition of countervailing duties based on government subsidies and support. Customs then concluded that at least some of the exporters found by the CBSA to be receiving countervailing subsidies are also exporters of aluminium extrusions to Australia and that such alleged subsidies are above negligible levels.

The initiation of the investigation may well be the cause of some tension between the governments of Australia and the PRC. In particular, the government of the PRC argued strongly that the PRC should be considered as a "full market economy" so that local selling prices should be accepted in the first instance as the basis for calculation of normal values. The decision by Customs that there is a "market situation" involving government influence as a means to not use PRC normal values will be the cause of some tension. Further, the finding that some Chinese government programs constitute a subsidy supporting the imposition of countervailing measures will also be of concern to the PRC government. This also plays out against the background of concerns that trade remedies measures should not be used by governments or local industries as a means to unduly protect local industries.

As many of you will be aware, we have extensive experience in acting in anti-dumping 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. Of more recent time this has included assisting PRC exporters in arguments that their goods were not, in fact, dumped in Australia. As always, we will be pleased to assist parties in relation to this important investigation.

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.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Mondaq Advice Centre (MACs)
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.