Physical Security

Anti-dumping scanner challenge

by Mark Rowe

A World Trade Organization (WTO) panel report (DS425) found that China’s anti-dumping duties on imports of X-ray security scanners from the European Union were in breach of WTO anti-dumping rules. The EU hailed the report as a victory. If the report is not appealed within 60 days, China will be expected to remove its anti-dumping duties on EU imports of X-ray security scanners.

According to the EU, China imposed anti-dumping duties on imports of X-ray security scanners from the EU in January 2011. Ranging from 33.5 per cent to 71.8pc, they essentially closed the Chinese market to imports of European X-ray security scanners. Anti-dumping measures can be imposed when an investigation finds that imported products are sold at prices lower than the domestic prices of the product and that this “dumping” causes injury to the industry of the importing country. A direct causal link must be proven between the dumping and the injury caused.

The WTO Panel Report –

WTO rules provided for certain due process and transparency requirements that have to be respected. Based on these rules, the EU saw no justification for the Chinese measures, either on substantive or procedural grounds.

The Chinese anti-dumping measures were imposed after the EU had decided to introduce definitive anti-dumping duties on a related product, cargo scanners from China in June 2010, making Beijing’s action look more like retaliation rather than an effort to address genuine concerns about “injurious dumping”.

In July 2011 the EU requested WTO consultations on the matter, but these failed to bring about an acceptable solution. As a consequence, the EU challenged, for the first time, a Chinese trade defence measure before a WTO panel in December 2011.

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