Anti-Dumping Commission to investigate aluminium extrusions exported via Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand.
Dumping duties on aluminium extrusions exported from China were put in place in October 2010 and have been causing headaches for importers and customs brokers ever since. Challenges are often around whether a good is an aluminium extrusion and subject to dumping duty, or has been further developed to the point where it is more than a mere extrusion, such as a window frame.
Following an application by Australian industry, the Anti-Dumping Commission (ADC) has launched an investigation into whether exporters and importers are seeking to avoid the dumping duties by exporting aluminium extrusions from China to one or more third party countries, including Malaysia, and then re-exporting the goods to Australia from Malaysia and claiming the goods were of Malaysian origin.
Australian industry has claimed that:
- Since 2015 one or more companies have been contacting Australian importers offering a service to avoid dumping duties;
- The service allegedly involves purchasing goods from China and re-exporting the goods from Malaysia, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines and Bangladesh;
- In the transhipping country, the goods are allegedly moved to a new container and a new BOL, certificate of origin, packing list and invoice is issued;
- Giving this arrangement credibility, the second set of documents are allegedly supported by a genuine aluminium extrusion company working in the transhipment country;
- At least two Chinese freight forwarders are offering the transhipment service.
No identifying details of the parties involved have been published. However, the relevant names have been provided to the ADC together with supporting documentation.
The ADC will now investigate whether the transhipment activities can be proved. As part of the investigation, the ADC has asked whether Freight and Trade Alliance would like to make a submission. If any members wish to make a submission regarding the claims by the Australian industry, please contact Hunt & Hunt or FTA. The due date for any submission is 22 November 2017.
What can happen as a result of the investigation?
As a result of the investigation, the dumping notice can be amended to include exports from the transhipped countries by nominated exporters. If amended, the new provisions would only apply from 18 September 2017.
What about transhipped imports prior to the investigation
The current dumping measures apply to Chinese aluminium extrusions exported from China to Australia. Transhipped goods can fit within this definition, especially where at the time of export, the intended final destination was Australia.
Aluminium extrusions imported from Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand should be seen as very concerning. We expect that the Australian Border Force will investigate such transactions to identify whether dumping duties have been avoided by knowingly describing Chinese goods as not originating in China. Previously the Australian Border Force has issued search warrants, and prosecutions have been brought, against individuals attempting to avoid duties by incorrectly describing the origin of goods.
As mentioned, the Australian industry has provided the ADC with details of foreign parties involved in the alleged activities. In these circumstances, concerned parties should be contacting their lawyers to proactively manage any risks associated with past importations.
Hunt & Hunt’s Customs and Global Team helps exporters, importers, customs brokers and forwarders with issues associated with dumping and countervailing duties. More so than most areas, outcomes relating to dumping can be significantly improved by proactive management.