TRA reconsiders recommendation on welded tubes and pipes measures

The Trade Remedies Authority has today (Wednesday 24 November) initiated a reconsideration of its recommendation in the UK transition review of an anti-dumping measure on imports of certain welded tubes and pipes originating in the Republic of Belarus (Belarus), the People’s Republic of China (China), and the Russian Federation (Russia).

Reconsiderations are an established part of the UK’s tax regime, with many different arms of the Government incorporating them as part of their standard operating procedures. They are one of the main ways businesses can continue to make their case once a decision that affects them has been made. If applicants meet the criteria required, a reconsideration will always be undertaken.

At the end of the reconsideration process, the TRA will reach a reconsidered decision either upholding or varying its recommendation and will notify this to the Secretary of State for International Trade.

The initiation today follows one submission received from a UK producer requesting that the TRA reconsider its recommendation. The TRA anticipates it will take several months to complete the reconsideration review.

About the TRA’s original recommendation

In August, the TRA recommended to the Secretary of State for International Trade that the UK continue to apply existing anti-dumping duties to imports from China and Belarus but not to imports from Russia. The TRA also recommended that the scope of the measure be changed to exclude one of the four types of product covered by the measure, as no UK producer of that product was identified.

This recommendation was accepted by the Secretary of State for International Trade.

The reconsideration process

Following the Secretary of State’s decision, the TRA received a submission from one domestic steel producer asking the TRA to reconsider the original recommendation.

The steel producer originally advised the TRA that it did not manufacture the product in question, but after the TRA published its Statement of Essential Facts, it emerged that it was in fact involved in the production of some quantities of the goods. As such, it has argued that the measure on this product should not be revoked. In addition, it has argued that the duties should not be revoked on imports from Russia.

The TRA’s reconsideration will cover the same remit as the original transition review. It will consider, within the rules set in the UK’s regulatory framework and the underlying World Trade Organisation obligations, whether the application received and the additional information it contains necessitates a different recommendation to that originally given to the Secretary of State for International Trade.

Background

  • The Trade Remedies Authority is the UK body that investigates whether new trade remedy measures are needed to counter unfair import practices and unforeseen surges of imports.
  • The UK trade remedies regime is set by the Taxation (Cross-Border Trade) Act 2018 and the Trade Act 2021, which operationalise the World Trade Organisation (WTO) agreements covering trade remedies.
  • Reconsiderations are part of the process that parties can use to ask the TRA to look again at its decisions. Many government departments, non-departmental public bodies and other government agencies (including decision-making bodies on taxation and benefits) provide for interested parties to request an internal reconsideration of a decision as part of their standard processes.
  • For a reconsideration to be undertaken by the TRA, applicants must meet the following criteria:
    • set out the grounds for their application
    • explain the outcome they are looking for
    • demonstrate that they are eligible to apply for a reconsideration of this decision.
  • If an application does not meet any or all of the three criteria set out above, the TRA will review this and may ultimately reject an application.

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