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NIOE and ITC to conduct workshops on dumping, countervailing duties and safeguard measures

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ITC National Coordinator Dr. Dayarathne de Silva, National Chamber of Exporters 

CEO/SG Shiham Marikar, ITC Consultant Prof. Claudio Dupan and Post Graduate Institute of Management (PIM) Prof. Trevor Mendis were the speakers at the event



National Institute of Exports (NIOE) is the training arm of the National Chamber of Exporters and will spearhead training workshops to clarify issues. 

The NCE welcomes the enactment of the Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Duties Act and the Safeguard Measures Act by the Government which was passed in Parliament in March. The Chamber notes that these enactments fulfil the expectations of Sri Lankan entrepreneurs to safeguard them from unfair trade practices, and to create a level playing field, which has been long overdue. The Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Duties Act provides protection to domestic enterprises to counter low priced dumped imports, as well as imports which have received excessive subsidies, while the Safeguard Measures Act provides protection to local domestic enterprises against sudden surges of imports which are harmful to domestic industries. 

The Chamber reiterates the statement made recently by the Ministry of Strategy Development and International Trade that these new laws are not aimed at providing blanket protectionism to domestic industry, but rather a credible set of remedial measures in the event of injury to domestic industry caused by dumping or by subsidies, as well as by sudden surges of imports

Some local entrepreneurs have been making representations in the past that imports are entering the country at lower prices than their normal value. However the Chamber notes that dumping is often mistaken and simplified to mean all cheap low priced imports, which is not the case. In this context representations have been made by local enterprises related to the imports of second hand low quality boats, and low quality electrical panel boards at low prices. However a closer analysis of the issues related to these imports may require other remedial measures. A more realistic case as pointed out by the Department of Commerce at a recent Seminar could be the imports of low priced potatoes from India. 

On the other hand in regard to Exports from Sri Lanka the Chamber notes that domestic enterprises in the USA have made representations to the US Department of Commerce regarding low priced certain types of “off road pneumatic tires”, and rubber bands from Sri Lanka which they claimed to receive subsidies in Sri Lanka. Data of the World Trade Organization (WTO) reveals an increasing trend in complaints from affected enterprises in developed countries, as well as some developing countries. In this context there is a need for Sri Lankan exporters of various products to be aware of such sensitive export markets, to avoid issues.

The bills that have been passed in parliament clearly outlines the special criteria to determine when Products are considered to be dumped or unfairly subsidized, and the provisions to levy compensatory duties. Further the website of the Department of Commerce in Sri Lanka also lists out the steps to be followed by Sri Lankan Enterprises who seek redress when reporting on dumped goods, subsidised imports and surges in imports, which entrepreneurs should be aware of.

 WTO Regulations also provide certain flexibilities to developing countries when seeking redress under these laws.

The chamber recently conducted a Preliminary workshop, under the EU Trade Facilitation Project, through its affiliate training arm the National Institute of Exports (NIOE) to introduce key features of the legislation. The workshop was conducted with the assistance of the International Trade Center (ITC) in Geneva.

With a view to imparting further knowledge, and educating Sri Lankan Entrepreneurs on the various technical issues related to the above enactments, and the procedures they should follow when making an application to the Department of Commerce, which is the investigating authority, seeking redress under the legislation, the Chamber will shortly conduct Training Workshops in collaboration with the relevant state agencies. Nevertheless the Chamber advices Sri Lankan Entrepreneurs to be alert and compile relevant information as well as data on their particular segments of industries, including the production data of producers of the same product, or like products, to facilitate their representations when seeking protection from unfair trade practices related to imports. 


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