Many of you would be aware of the developments with the
investigation regarding the proposed imposition of dumping and
countervailing duties on Aluminium Road Wheels
("ARW") exported from the PRC
Most recently this included the issue by Customs of a Statement
of Essential Facts ("SEF") for comment
which included the proposed recommendations by Customs that such
measures should be imposed. Interested parties were invited to make
further submissions on the SEF and the proposed recommendations.
Following those submissions, a report to the Minister from Customs
was due to be made by 12 June 2012 including recommended measures
for consideration by the Minister. The Minister would then be in a
position to accept (likely) or reject (unlikely) the proposed
measures as set out in the report and impose such measures.
Even though the report and recommendation as to measures by
Customs to the Minister is due very shortly which would allow the
Minister to then impose duties on ARW shortly thereafter, Customs
has taken the unexpected step of imposing interim duties and
requiring securities for such measures as in ACDN 2012/21 with
effect from today. This seems to have resolved the
issue of Customs position on the SEF, namely that measures should
be imposed, albeit at levels different to those set out in the SEF.
Although the ACDN 2012/21 and associated Preliminary Affirmative
Decision is expressed as "not necessarily reflecting Customs
final recommendations" that seems to be a procedural nicety -
why would Customs impose such interim measures if they did not
reflect its views?
The Notice was only published late yesterday (I do check every
day and there was nothing yesterday morning) and without prior
notice to interested parties as would be expected to allow for the
orderly administration of measures and trade.
These measures are supposed to have effect from
today and affected parties will need to work
urgently on how securities are offered, accepted by Customs and
provided Cash or credit? I would recommend documentary securities
This interim action will create significant problems for
importers, OEM, retailers of ARW and their service providers. It
will also create significant additional costs at a stage before
measures would reasonably be expected to be imposed. There seems
little compelling reason for such action when alleged
"injury" has allegedly already been happening for years
and the Ministerial measures could have been as little as weeks
away. A more measured approach with reasonable notice to importers
and measures may well have allowed for a more efficient application
of measures even if such measures had been deemed necessary.
As always we will keep you informed of developments and are
ready to assist.
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