4 March 2016
Commodity: Certain iron or steel fasteners, other than of stainless steel, i.e. wood screws (excluding coach screws), self-tapping screws, other screws and bolts with heads (whether or not with their nuts or washers, but excluding screws turned from bars, rods, profiles or wire, of solid section, of a shank thickness not exceeding 6 mm and excluding screws and bolts for fixing railway track construction material), and washers, currently falling within CN codes 7318 12 90, 7318 14 91, 7318 14 99, 7318 15 59, 7318 15 69, 7318 15 81, 7318 15 89, ex 7318 15 90, ex 7318 21 00 and ex 7318 22 00 (TARIC codes 7318159021, 7318159029, 7318159071, 7318159079, 7318159091, 7318159098, 7318210031, 7318210039, 7318210095, 7318210098, 7318220031, 7318220039, 7318220095 and 7318220098).
Countries/Economies: The Chinese mainland, Malaysia
Action: On 27 February 2016, the Official Journal published Commission Implementing Regulation 2016/278 repealing the definitive anti-dumping duty imposed on imports of certain iron or steel fasteners originating in the Chinese mainland, as extended to imports of certain iron or steel fasteners consigned from Malaysia, whether declared as originating in Malaysia or not. This Regulation comes about pursuant to the EU’s imposition of a definitive anti-dumping duty on imports of certain iron or steel fasteners. In connection thereof, on 18 January 2016, the compliance Appellate Body report was circulated to Members of the WTO (the compliance panel report circulated on 7 August 2015 and the compliance Appellate Body report circulated on 18 January 2016 are referred to as ‘compliance reports’ in the new Regulation). In the compliance reports, it was found, inter alia, that the EU had acted inconsistently with various provisions of the WTO Anti-dumping Agreement (ADA). In the compliance Appellate Body report, the Appellate Body recommended that the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) request the EU to bring its measures found to be inconsistent with the ADA into conformity with its obligations under the ADA. On 12 February 2016, the DSB adopted the compliance reports. In view of the findings mentioned in the compliance reports, the Commission considers that it is appropriate to repeal the anti-dumping duties on imports of the product concerned. According to new Commission Implementing Regulation 2016/278, the repeal of the anti-dumping duties shall take effect from the date of the entry into force of the new Regulation and shall not serve as a basis for the reimbursement of the duties collected prior to that date.
Dates: Regulation 2016/278 entered into force on the day following that of its publication in the Official Journal.
Commodity: Aspartame (N-L-α-Aspartyl-L-phenylalanine-1-methyl ester, 3-amino-N-(α-carbomethoxy-phenethyl)-succinamic acid-N-methyl ester), CAS RN 22839-47-0, currently falling within CN code ex 2924 29 98 (TARIC code 2924299805).
Countries/Economies: The Chinese mainland.
Action: On 26 February 2016, the Official Journal published Commission Implementing Regulation 2016/262 imposing a provisional anti-dumping duty on imports of aspartame originating in the Chinese mainland. The Commission had initiated the investigation on 30 May 2015, following a complaint lodged on 16 April 2015 by Ajinomoto Sweeteners Europe SAS (‘the complainant’). The complainant is said to be the sole producer of aspartame in the EU. According to the European Commission, the investigation showed that practically all economic indicators, with the exception of market share which remained stable, deteriorated during the period considered. Significant negative trends were observed in the following economic indicators: production volume, capacity utilisation, sales volumes and prices on the EU market, cash flow, investments, employment and productivity. Due to the combined effect of decreased production, leading to an increase in the unit cost of goods sold, and the decreasing sales prices the profitability of the Union industry decreased sharply during the period considered. All these trends signal a clear injurious situation, the Commission notes. On the basis of the conclusions reached by the Commission on dumping, injury, causation and Union interest, provisional measures are to be imposed to prevent further injury being caused to the Union industry by the dumped imports.
Rates: The rates of the provisional anti-dumping duty range from 55.4% to 59.4% for a number of named companies. The rate levied on ‘all other companies’ is 59.4%.
Dates: Regulation 2016/262 entered into force on the day following that of its publication in the Official Journal. Its Article 1, imposing the provisional duty, will apply for a period of six months.
Commodity: Certain tube and pipe butt-welding fittings, currently falling within CN codes ex 7307 23 10 and ex 7307 23 90. The product is described in greater detail in the European Commission’s notice of initiation.
Countries/Economies: The Chinese mainland, Taiwan.
Action: On 20 February 2016, the Official Journal published a corrigendum to the notice of initiation of an anti-dumping proceeding concerning imports of certain stainless steel tube and pipe butt-welding fittings, whether or not finished, which was published in the EU’s Official Journal of 29 October 2015. The corrigendum amends the wording of the product subject to the investigation, found on page 5, point 2 of the notice.
Dates: The corrigendum is immediately applicable.
Commodity: Dry sodium gluconate, with a Customs Union and Statistics (CUS) number 0023277-9 and a Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) registry number 527-07-1, currently falling within CN code ex 2918 16 00 (TARIC code 2918160010).
Countries/Economies: The Chinese mainland.
Action: On 19 February 2016, the Official Journal published a notice of initiation of a partial interim review of the anti-dumping measures applicable to imports of sodium gluconate originating in the Chinese mainland, limited to one Chinese exporting producer, Shandong Kaison. The request for the review was lodged by Jungbunzlauer SA and Roquette Italia SpA (‘the applicants’), on behalf of producers said to be representing more than 25% of the total Union production of sodium gluconate. The partial interim review is limited in scope to the examination of dumping as far as one exporting producer, namely Shandong Kaison, is concerned. The measures currently in force are a definitive anti-dumping duty imposed by Council Implementing Regulation 965/2010. An expiry review of the measures is currently ongoing. The request is based on prima facie evidence, provided by the applicants, that, as far as Shandong Kaison and dumping are concerned, the circumstances on the basis of which the existing measures were imposed have changed and that these changes are of a lasting nature. Therefore, the applicants allege that Shandong Kaison no longer fulfils the criteria for market economy treatment (‘MET’) and that normal value for this company should thus be determined on the basis of the price or constructed value in a market economy third country. The Commission’s investigation will assess the need for the continuation, removal or amendment of the existing measures.
Dates: Unrelated importers of the product under investigation from mainland China to the Union, which is produced by Shandong Kaison, are invited to participate in this investigation. They are invited to contact the Commission, preferably by email, immediately but no later than 15 days after the publication of the notice in the Official Journal, unless otherwise specified, in order to make themselves known and request a questionnaire. The unrelated importers and the associations of importers must submit the completed questionnaire within 37 days of the date of publication of the notice in the Official Journal, unless otherwise specified. Subject to the provisions of the notice, all interested parties have been invited to make their views known, submit information and provide supporting evidence. Unless otherwise specified, this information and supporting evidence must reach the Commission within 37 days of the date of publication of the notice in the Official Journal. All interested parties may request to be heard by the Commission investigation services, in writing, specifying the reasons for the request. For hearings on issues pertaining to the initial stage of the investigation the request must be submitted within 15 days of the date of publication of the notice. The investigation will be concluded within 15 months of the date of publication of the notice.
Commodity: Footwear with uppers of leather or composition leather, excluding sports footwear, footwear involving special technology, slippers and other indoor footwear and footwear with a protective toecap, as further described in Article 1 of Council Regulation 1472/2006.
Countries/Economies: The Chinese mainland, Vietnam
Action: On 18 February 2016, the Official Journal published Commission Implementing Regulation 2016/223. The Regulation establishes a procedure for assessing certain market economy treatment and individual treatment claims made by exporting producers from mainland China and Vietnam, and implements the judgment of the Court of Justice of the EU in joined cases C-659/13 and C-34/14. The background is as follows: by Council Regulation 1472/2006, the Council imposed definitive anti-dumping duties ranging from 9.7% to 16.5% on imports of certain footwear with uppers of leather, originating in Vietnam and the Chinese mainland for two years (‘the contested Regulation’). The Regulation was extended for a further period of 15 months by Implementing Regulation 1294/2009. As a consequence of appeals brought by Brosmann Footwear (HK) Ltd, Seasonable Footwear (Zhongshan) Ltd, Lung Pao Footwear (Guangzhou) Ltd and Risen Footwear (HK) Co Ltd as well as Zhejiang Aokang Shoes Co. Ltd (‘the applicants’), which reached the highest EU court (the Court of Justice of the EU), it was ruled that the contested Regulation had to be annulled in so far as it related to the applicants concerned. Two importers of the product concerned, C&J Clark International Ltd. and Puma SE, furthermore challenged the anti-dumping measures on imports of certain footwear from mainland China and Vietnam before their national Courts (in the UK and Germany), which referred the matters to the Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling. In the joined Cases C-659/13 C & J Clark International Limited and C-34/14 Puma SE, the Court of Justice declared the contested Regulation and Implementing Regulation 1294/2009 invalid in so far as the European Commission did not examine the MET and individual treatment (‘IT’) claims submitted by exporting producers in the Chinese mainland and Vietnam that were not sampled, contrary to the requirements of the Basic Anti-dumping Regulation. In the new Regulation, the Commission concludes that the analysis of MET and IT claims of exporting producers that have sold to Puma SE and C&J Clark International Ltd should be carried out within eight months from the date of the judgment. Moreover, national customs authorities, which have received a request for re-imbursement, based on Article 236 of the Community Customs Code, of anti-dumping duties imposed by the contested Regulation or Implementing Regulation 1294/2009 and collected by national customs authorities, which is based on the fact that a non-sampled exporting producer had requested MET or IT, shall forward that request and any supporting documents to the Commission. Within eight months of the receipt of the request and any supporting documents, the Commission shall verify whether the exporting producer had indeed lodged an MET and IT claim.
Dates: Regulation 2016/223 entered into force on the day following its publication in the Official Journal.