Fergus Randolph QC and Sarah Lee QC
On 16 December 2020 the Secretary of State for International Trade published her final list of the anti-dumping and anti-subsidy safeguarding measures previously issued by the European Union which she has decided to maintain after 31 December 2020. This follows a process in which the Secretary of State held a Call for Evidence consultation with United Kingdom Industry. That process has now concluded and the UK will continue to apply the previous measures at the United Kingdom border in relation to those measures that have been maintained: see here.
The Trade Remedies Investigations Directorate (TRID) is conducting transition reviews in relation to a number of maintained measures and the status of these can be seen on the TRID’s website, along with non-confidential versions of documents on the file. The list on the website itself indicates which measures are currently undergoing a transition review (namely, those marked with ***). The website also indicates those EU measures that will be terminated, and therefore not carried over, as part of the UK’s independent trade policy. Interestingly, the Secretary of State has carried over measures on bicycles and electric bicycles coming from certain producer countries, which had been contentious. The comments note that UK producers had “contacted the Secretary of State with new evidence showing changes to UK production and/or market share of products covered by the EU’s existing measures on bicycles and electric bicycles”. This appears to have led to a shift from the view originally held by the Secretary of State, which was to let the anti-dumping duties expire.
The types of issues that are considered in a transition review are whether the application of the amount concerned (in a current anti-dumping or anti-subsidy remedy) is necessary or sufficient to remedy the detriment suffered and whether the injury would continue to occur if the remedy were to be lifted. The existing measure can be varied, changed or terminated. Each initiation notice lists potentially interested parties and sets a date by which they are invited to contact the TRID in order to make their representations. Similarly, the Secretary of State has decided on tariff rate quotas which will apply in the United Kingdom to those 19 steel products measures that that it has decided to transition following 31 December 2020, in order to provide continuity. These are contained in a determination made on 30 September 2020 under regulation 46(3) of the Trade Remedies (Increase in Imports Causing Serious Injury to UK Producers) Regulations and will come into effect on 31 December. The UK will conduct a transition review of those measures in the 19 steel products areas in order to ensure that they fully reflect the UK’s needs. The TRID has published operational guidance on this transition review on its website: see here.
Lastly, the Secretary of State’s notice contains a reminder that after 31 December 2020 the United Kingdom government will operate its own independent trade remedies system. Further, it notes that applications can be made to the Trade Remedies Service if an industry member wants TRID to investigate imports which are causing or threatening to cause injury to a United Kingdom industry.