What is dumping?

Dumping occurs when a company exports a product to the EU at a lower price than the product's normal value in its home market. This normal value could be the domestic price of the product, or the cost of production.

EU producers can submit a complaint to the European Commission if they think a product is being unfairly dumped onto the EU market by producers in non-EU countries. The European Commission can also open an investigation into dumping on its own initiative.

The anti-dumping proceeding

After receiving a complaint from the EU producers of the product concerned, the Commission publishes a notice in the EU's Official Journal - opening an anti-dumping proceeding. The maximum time limit for an investigation under these proceedings is 15 months. The detailed findings are published in the Official Journal. For example, these findings may include a regulation imposing anti-dumping duties or terminate the proceeding without duties being imposed.

The EU's basic anti-dumping Regulation complies with the EU's international obligations – in particular the WTO Anti-Dumping Agreement.

An anti-dumping investigation can be initiated in response to a complaint lodged by European manufacturers affected by dumped imports or at the request of an EU country. Community producers who are considering lodging an anti-dumping complaint, should contact the European Commission.

Circumstances for anti-dumping measures

The investigation must show that:

  1. there is dumping by the exporting producers in the country/countries concerned
  2. material injury has been suffered by the EU industry concerned
  3. there is a causal connection between the dumping and injury found
  4. the imposition of measures is not against the EU interest
For detailed information on conditions for imposing an anti-dumping measure, see Conditions

Anti-dumping duty

If the investigation finds that the above four conditions have been met, then anti-dumping measures can be imposed on imports of the product concerned.

These measures usually take the form of one of the following:

  • an ad valorem duty (taxed according to transaction value)
  • specific duties (taxed per specific amount of the product)
  • price undertakings (the non-EU exporter agrees to sell its products at a minimum price in the EU)

The duties are paid by the importer in the EU and collected by the national customs authorities of the EU countries concerned.

If the EU accepts the producer's price undertaking, anti-dumping duties will not be collected on imports. The Commission is not obliged to accept an offer of an undertaking.

The 'lesser duty' rule

A duty may be imposed to remove the effects of dumping on imports of a particular product. An assessment is also made of the level of duty needed to remove the injurious effects of dumping. Measures will be imposed at the level of dumping or injury, whichever is the lower.

Anti-dumping and ships

EU rules include a regulation on the sale of newly built ships at excessively low prices. See Shipbuilding for further details.

Duration of measures and reviews

Measures are generally imposed for 5 years and may be subject to review if, for example:

Measures will lapse after 5 years unless an expiry review is initiated.

The Commission monitors measures to ensure they are effective and respected by exporters and importers.