How is an investigation conducted?
The anti-dumping and countervailing investigation process generally starts with an application from an Australian industry producing ‘like goods’ to those which the applicant alleges are being dumped and/or subsidised. The Australian industry concerned must demonstrate not only that there is dumping or subsidisation occurring but also that it has suffered material injury as a result.
Once an application is lodged, the Commission has up to 20 days to determine whether there is an Australian industry producing like goods to the allegedly dumped (or subsidised) goods, and whether there are reasonable grounds for the publication of a dumping or countervailing duty notice. If there are reasonable grounds, the Commission will commence an investigation. A non-confidential version of the application will be placed on the public record and a public notice will be issued advising of the claims made by the applicant and the details of the investigation process, and inviting interested parties to lodge submissions. The Commission has up to 155 days to complete its investigation and report to the Minister, unless the Minister approves an extended deadline.
Interested parties are any people or entities such as businesses, industry groups or academics who have an interest in the investigation and who may wish to make a comment or argument about the investigation. Submissions from importers, exporters and any other interested parties are required within 37 days from the commencement of the investigation. Non-confidential versions of submissions are required to be submitted, to be placed on the public record.
The Commission will advise importers and exporters of the initiation of an investigation and will request information on relevant import and export transactions. This information is required within 37 days of the commencement of the investigation. As part of the investigation process, the Commission may visit the premises of the importers and exporters to undertake further investigations and verify the information provided.
Investigations are undertaken with the exporter to assess a normal value and establishing whether dumping or a subsidy exists.
Investigations with the importer are undertaken to gather information on the volume, costs and selling prices of imported product. Importers have an opportunity to discuss the application and provide relevant information on the Australian market.
In the case of an investigation into subsidisation, the Commission will also consult with the foreign government concerned.
From day 60 of the investigation, provisional measures may be imposed, in the form of securities on imports of the goods. This will only occur when there is sufficient verified information available. A statement of reasons, referred to as a Preliminary Affirmative Determination, will accompany such action.
On or before day 110, the Commission must issue a Statement of Essential Facts on which it proposes to base its report to the Minister. Interested parties will then have 20 days to respond and lodge submissions on matters of concern.
After consideration of the submissions received, the Commission will report its conclusions and recommendations to the Minister. A non-confidential version of the report will be placed on the public record after the Minister's decision is announced.
Under certain circumstances, the Anti-Dumping Commissioner must terminate all or part of an investigation. These include negligible dumping margins or countervailable subsidy, negligible volumes and negligible injury caused by dumping or subsidy. If this occurs, a termination report will be placed on the public record.
Throughout the investigation process, all non-confidential documentation, including the application, submissions from interested parties, Anti-Dumping Commission reports on visits and meetings, Preliminary Affirmative Determination (if issued), Statement of Essential Facts, and all other relevant documentation, will be placed on the public record.
Investigation Flow Chart
More information regarding the investigation process is provided in Guidelines for the examination of a formally lodged application (Dec 2015).