Anti-circumvention inquiries

What is an anti-circumvention inquiry?

An anti-circumvention inquiry is an inquiry into whether certain activities are occurring with the intention of avoiding or reducing dumping or countervailing duties.

Circumvention activities take various forms and exploit different aspects of the anti-dumping and countervailing system. The outcome of these activities is that they ensure that the relevant goods do not attract the intended dumping or countervailing duty. Circumvention activities include:

  • slight modification of goods

  • assembly of parts in Australia;

  • assembly of parts in a third country;

  • export of goods through one or more third countries;

  • arrangements between exporters;

  • avoidance of the intended effect of duty; and

  • any additional circumstances prescribed by regulation.

When an application for an anti-circumvention inquiry is received, the Anti-Dumping Commissioner will decide whether or not to reject the application within 20 days of its lodgement. The Commissioner must reject the application if not satisfied that the requirements of the application form have been met, and that there appear to be reasonable grounds for asserting that one or more circumvention activities have occurred.

If the Commissioner does not reject the application, or if the Minister requests an inquiry, a notice will be published on the Commission’s website, indicating that an inquiry is to be conducted. The applicant will also be notified of the Commissioner's decision.

Information relating to anti-circumvention inquiries, the related process, details of the activities listed above, and requirements for applicants, are provided in Application for an anti-circumvention inquiry: Guidelines for applicants (Dec 2015) and Anti-Circumvention Inquiry flow chart.

From 1 January 2014, an anti-circumvention inquiry into avoidance of the intended effect of duty is available. Information relating to this anti-circumvention inquiry, the related process and requirements for applicants, are provided in Application for an anti-circumvention: Avoidance of Intended Effect of Duty - Guidelines for applicants (January 2014) and Anti-circumvention inquiry into avoidance of the intended effect of the duty flow chart.

From 1 April 2015, an anti-circumvention inquiry is available which addresses circumstances where exporters slightly modify their goods in order to circumvent duties that apply to the original (or unmodified) good. This activity is prescribed through regulation.

The types of factors that may indicate that a good has been slightly modified include (but are not limited to):

  • each good’s general physical characteristics;

  • each good’s end use;

  • the interchangeability of each good;

  • differences in the processes used to produce each good;

  • differences in the cost to produce each good;

  • the cost of modification;

  • customer preferences and expectations relating to each good;

  • the way in which each good is marketed;

  • channels of trade and distribution for each good;

  • patterns of trade for each good;

  • changes in the pricing of each good;

  • changes in the export volumes for each good; and

  • tariff classifications and statistical codes for each good.

An applicant must include relevant evidence in support of its application and the slight modification of goods circumvention activity will also be subject to a 155 day legislative timeframe, unless extended.

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