Duty assessments

A duty assessment enables a reconciliation of interim duty, and final duty payable under the Dumping Duty Act. An importer who has paid interim duty on particular goods may apply, within specified time limits, for an assessment of duty payable on those goods.

Where dumping or countervailing duty has been imposed on goods exported to Australia, the importer is liable to pay an amount known as the interim dumping duty or interim dumping duty at the time of importation. The interim duty is based on prices verified during the original dumping investigation or subsequent review of the duty.

To ensure that the amount of dumping duty collected by Customs does not exceed the actual dumping margin for each consignment over the five-year period, provision exists for assessment of the final duty liability. This system allows for any excess interim duty to be refunded where it is found that prices have changed since the original investigation or subsequent review.

The Customs Act 1901 provides that:

  • if the duty is less than the interim duty, the excess is to be refunded;

  • if the duty is more than the interim duty, the interim duty is treated as final duty and the balanced waived;

  • if the importer fails, within the time limits available, to seek an assessment of duty, the interim duty paid on the goods is taken to be final duty.

Duty Assessment Process

Timeframe

The Commission generally has 155 days to consider applications for duty assessment and recommend to the Minister whether or not to provide a repayment of duties. The Minister then has 30 days to make a decision.

Examination of Application

When a duty assessment application is lodged, The Anti-Dumping Commission will acknowledge receipt and the application will be examined to determine if the requirements of subsections 269V and 269W of the Customs Act 1901 have been met. The applicant is advised of the results of that examination as soon as possible. If an application for a duty assessment is rejected, no further action will be taken. If an application is not rejected, the duty assessment will proceed as follows.

Importer (applicant) cooperation

The importer will be required to provide further verified information during the duty assessment process. The Commission will write to the importer requesting further information and may request a visit to the importer’s premises for on-site verification. Verification visits to importers generally take one day.

Ascertaining variable factors and exporter(s) cooperation

The exporter(s) will receive a request for cooperation in the duty assessment process from the Commission. Cooperation may involve responding to requests for information, completing an exporter questionnaire and agreeing to a verification visit on premises. What is required from the exporter(s) is determined on a case-by-case basis. An exporter is not obliged to cooperate, however when exporters do not cooperate this can make ascertaining variable factors more difficult. Examples of variable factors include the export price, normal value and the countervailable subsidy (if any) of the goods, which are often ascertained from information provided by the exporter.

Termination

A duty assessment may be terminated or rejected if the Commissioner is satisfied that he does not have enough information to be able to ascertain, in relation to each consignment of the goods to which the application relates, each variable factor relevant to the determination of duty payable as required under paragraph 269X(5)(a) of the Customs Act 1901.

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