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EU Importers Regret Member States’ Agreement to Waive Lesser Duty Rule


14 Dec 2016


Trade & Society

Brussels, 14 December 2016 – EU importers yesterday reacted to the news that the Permanent Representations Committee had agreed to the Council’s proposed EU anti-dumping system reform with a mixture of cautious optimism and regret. The proposed four-week pre-notification of provisional duties gives importers no practical advantage, since the shipping time from China — which is the predominant sourcing hub and the country most hit by anti-dumping measures — is six weeks. The possibility to be reimbursed duties paid during an expiry review that determines duties should expire is a relatively positive outcome. However, the potential to remove the lesser duty rule, which limits EU anti-dumping tariffs, is a major disadvantage. 

Stuart Newman, Senior Legal Adviser to the FTA, said: “We have campaigned for the reimbursement of duties since before this exercise began, so I am glad to see it in the proposal. However, I deeply regret that Member States have been persuaded to allow the Commission to waive the lesser duty rule, which has been in place for almost 50 years, since this could prove extremely costly to EU importers and many EU producers dependent on imports of input materials. Although it appears at first glance that it will occur only in limited circumstances, there is scope for a wider application – especially when one considers the non-transparent nature of the EU system”.

Please find related information here:

FTA Statement on Slovak Presidency proposal on MTDI
FTA Reaction to Commission MES Proposal
Position Paper: Achieving Transparency in the EU’s Anti-Dumping System
Assessing an EU-China Free Trade Agreement



About the association: The Foreign Trade Association (FTA) is the leading business association for global commerce that promotes the values of international trade and sustainable supply chains. FTA represents 1,900+ retailers, importers, brands and national associations to promote and defend international trade and supports their business by providing information and practical solutions towards sustainability in the global supply chain. The association provides the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) to support participants to improve working conditions in factories and farms worldwide. It also provides the Business Environmental Performance Initiative (BEPI) to facilitate improved environmental performance in global supply chains.



For further information, please contact:
Stuart Newman
Senior Legal Advisor
Tel: + 32 (0) 2 741 64 04   -   Fax: + 32 (0) 2 741 64 78

Ana María Martín 
FTA Media Relations and Editorial Planning Coordinator
Tel: +32 (0)2 739 48 22


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