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Commission proposes to modernise the EU's trade defence instruments

EU News 177/2013

10 April 2013

The European Commission today made a proposal that aims at adapting the EU's rulebook to tackle unfair competition from dumped and subsidised imports to the contemporary challenges facing the EU's economy.

The proposed changes would make the EU trade defence work better for all stakeholders, including both EU producers and importers. Anti-dumping and anti-subsidy instruments will be more efficient and better enforced to shield EU producers from unfair practices of foreign firms and from any risk of retaliation. At the same time, importers will enjoy greater predictability in terms of changing duty rates, which will make their business planning easier. The entire system will become more transparent and user-friendly.


According to the legislative proposal, the Commission will:

Improve the predictability for businesses by informing them about any provisional anti-dumping or anti-subsidy measures two weeks before the duties are imposed;

Offer importers reimbursement of duties collected during an expiry review in case it concludes that there is no need to maintain the trade defence measures in place after five years;

Protect the EU industry by initiating investigations on its own (“ex officio”), without an offical request from industry, when a threat of retaliation exists;

Discourage other trading partners from engaging in certain unfair trading practices by imposing higher duties on imports from countries which use unfair subsidies and create structural distortions in their raw material markets. In such cases, the EU would deviate from its general ‘lesser duty’ rule that keeps the additional tariff within the limit of what is strictly necessary to prevent an injury for an EU industry.

The legislative proposal must be approved by the Council and the European Parliament and will probably not become law before 2014.

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