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Hearing Officer | Brussels, 28 February 2019

The Commission reinforces procedural rights of parties in EU trade defence investigations

The Commission has today updated the terms of reference for the Hearing Officer for trade defence proceedings, the independent watchdog that guarantees fairness and impartiality of EU anti-dumping and anti-subsidy cases.

The revised terms of reference provide clear and practical guidance to interested parties on how to involve the Hearing Officer if they consider that their rights of defence are not respected.

The updated rules will also help ensure that the interventions by the Hearing Officer in trade defence cases are made more effective and structured, thus improving predictability and transparency for interested parties. Among others, they take account of the recent reform of the EU anti-subsidy and anti-dumping legislation that shortens deadlines for completing the investigations.

The position of an independent Hearing Officer was created in 2007 to facilitate communication between interested parties and Commission services in trade proceedings, and to offer mediation - on procedural issues - between interested parties and the Commission's Directorate-General for Trade.

The Hearing Officer's new Terms of Reference are now available in the Official Journal and will enter into force 20 days after their publication.

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