Skip to main content

Help for SMEs

The European Commission has committed to making it easy for SMEs to access trade defence instruments through a dedicated SME helpdesk.

Trade topics
Trade defence

The SME Trade Defence Helpdesk supports small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the EU to both protect and enforce their rights against unfair trade practices i.e. dumping and subsidies by non-EU countries.

The Commission has committed to facilitate access to trade defence instruments for SMEs through a dedicated helpdesk, providing information about the procedures and the deadlines applicable in legislation. Furthermore, the Commission has published a Guide for SMEs and it has also issued a more concise Online course for SMEs.

Contact the SME trade defence helpdesk at trade-defence-sme-helpdeskatec [dot] europa [dot] eu (trade-defence-sme-helpdesk[at]ec[dot]europa[dot]eu)

Defending your business against dumped or subsidised imports

If you are a small business producing in the EU, your company may be harmed by low-priced imports from non-EU countries which are dumped or subsidised.

The Commission may be able to help you address this unfair competition and take action by using the EU's trade defence instruments.


This process starts with a complaint lodged by European industry with the European Commission, which must contain evidence to support the allegations of dumping or subsidisation

A guide to complaints explains the type of information which must be provided. 

Any complaint must be lodged on behalf of at least 25% of the total EU production of the product which the complaint is about. This is called 'standing'. You should contact your representative industry association about this. The European Commission sends a standing form to EU producers to check that these requirements are met.  

To help small businesses with this process, a simplified form is used.

Contact the Office of Trade Defence Complaints at trade-defence-complaintsatec [dot] europa [dot] eu (trade-defence-complaints[at]ec[dot]europa[dot]eu)


The EU opens investigations by publishing a Notice of Initiation in the Official Journal of the European Union. This notice sets out the background to the investigation, as well as the important information about deadlines for replying to questionnaires, applying for hearings, etc.

An executive summary of the complaint/request is published on DG Trade's website.

Importing or using a product which may be affected by anti-dumping or anti-subsidy action 

When the EU launches a trade defence investigation, you can choose to get involved. You can express your views as to how the potential imposition of anti-dumping or anti-subsidy measures might affect your business. You can also access non-confidential files and follow investigations closely. 

To get involved, you must register as an interested party in the investigation. You can find out how to do so in the relevant Notice of Initiation. 

As an interested party, you may also choose to cooperate in the investigation by filling in a questionnaire and allowing Commission officials to visit your premises to verify the data submitted.   

Search for ongoing investigations against EU imports (for each ongoing investigation, you will find questionnaires issued to the interested parties)

What to do if your company is accused of exporting dumped or subsidised products outside the EU

If your company is an SME exporting to a non-EU ('third') country, you may be affec­ted by an anti-dumping, anti-subsidy or safeguard action by that country. The Commission may also be able to guide you through the process.  

The guide to third-country investigations has detailed information on what you can do and how to proceed. 

Contact the Support Office for Trade Actions against EU Exporters at trade [dot] defence [dot] third [dot] countriesatec [dot] europa [dot] eu (trade[dot]defence[dot]third[dot]countries[at]ec[dot]europa[dot]eu)

More information

Contact the SME Trade Defence Helpdesk

Latest news

  • Press release

EU's Trade Defence in 2022: defending EU industry and protecting jobs

The 2022 report on the EU's trade defence activities, adopted today, shows that the European Commission has continued to be active and assertive in defending EU producers against unfair trade practices in 2022 by robustly applying the legislation and ensuring that measures are effective.

Latest events