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An anti-dumping investigation is when the Commission tries to determine whether goods being imported into the EU are being sold at below the price in the producer country.

Trade topics
  • Anti-dumping
  • Trade defence

What is an anti-dumping investigation?

An anti-dumping investigation is when the Commission tries to determine whether goods being imported into the EU are being sold at below the price in the producer country, i.e. being 'dumped'.

The Commission is obliged to launch an anti-dumping investigation if it receives a valid complaint from an EU industry providing sufficient evidence that exporting producers from one or more countries are dumping a particular product onto the EU market and causing injury to the EU industry. In accordance with EU law, the Commission launches the investigation within 45 days.

The Commission publishes a Notice of Initiation in the EU's Official Journal, specifying the product under investigation, the country/countries to be investigated, the rights and obligations of interested parties to the proceeding, and the deadlines which will apply.

The investigation examines whether:

  • dumping is taking place from the country/countries concerned;
  • material injury has been suffered by the EU industry;
  • it is the dumping that is causing the injury, and/or;
  • it would be against the economic interests of the EU to impose measures (which are usually in the form of an anti-dumping duty).

What are the main stages of the investigation?

On the date the Notice of Initiation is published, the Commission makes questionnaires available on its website for:

  • exporters in the countries concerned;
  • producers in the EU, and;
  • importers and users in the EU.

Once companies have replied to the questionnaires sent to them, the data is verified by case officers (usually by inspecting records at the company's premises).

The Commission then makes provisional findings. At this point it may:

  • impose provisional anti-dumping duties (in force for a maximum of six months);
  • continue the investigation without imposing duties, or;
  • terminate the investigation.

All interested parties have the right to comment on the provisional findings and receive disclosure of the essential facts and considerations forming the basis for the provisional findings. The Commission takes due account of the comments received when it continues the investigation. The definitive findings are also disclosed to interested parties and comments requested.

Finally, the Commission either:

  • imposes definitive measures, or;
  • terminates the case without measures.

The Commission must impose any measures within 14 months of the initiation of the investigation.

Is it necessary to employ a lawyer?

There is no obligation to employ a lawyer. A company may defend its own interests during an investigation. The Commission's services are available throughout the investigation to help any interested party and contact details are provided.

What if a company does not reply to the questionnaire?

Parties who do not reply to the questionnaire or do not cooperate in other ways may be regarded as not cooperating with the investigation.

Cooperation is strongly encouraged. The consequences of non-cooperation normally lead to the imposition of measures which are higher than for parties which have cooperated. 

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