Judgment of the General Court (Fourth Chamber) of 8 November 2011 – Zhejiang Harmonic Hardware Products v Council

(Case T-274/07)

Dumping – Imports of ironing boards originating in the People’s Republic of China and Ukraine – Market economy treatment – Rights of the defence – Offer of price undertakings – Confidential treatment of the complainants’ identity

1.                     Common commercial policy – Protection against dumping – Dumping margin – Determination of the normal value – Investigation – Refusal to grant market economy treatment – Rectification of the Commission’s position in the final information document – Possibility of the Commission subsequently returning to its initial decision, in the absence of new factors – Lawfulness – Conditions (Council Regulation No 384/96, Arts 2(7)(c), second para., and 20) (see paras 37-41, 45, 48, 51-52)

2.                     Common commercial policy – Protection against dumping – Anti-dumping proceeding – Rights of the defence – Communication by the Commission of final information to the undertakings – Legal nature (Council Regulation No 384/96, Art. 20(1), (2), (4) and (5)) (see paras 47-50)

3.                     Common commercial policy – Protection against dumping – Anti-dumping proceeding – Access to the file – Confidential treatment of the matters in a complaint – Conditions (Council Regulation No 384/96, Art. 19(1) and (2)) (see paras 57-61)

4.                     Common commercial policy – Protection against dumping – Anti-dumping proceeding – Rights of the defence – Communication by the Commission of final information to the undertakings – Transmission to the Council of the Commission’s proposal for definitive measures less than 10 days after that communication – Irregularity – Consequences for the validity of the regulation adopted by the Council (Council Regulation No 384/96, Art. 20(5)) (see paras 70-74, 76-90)

5.                     Common commercial policy – Protection against dumping – Anti-dumping proceeding – Rights of the defence – Possibility of exporters offering undertakings within the time-limit laid down by Article 20(5) of Regulation No 384/96 submitting observations – Non-compliance with the time-limit by the Commission – Irregularity (Council Regulation No 384/96, Arts 8 and 20(5)) (see paras 94-96)

Re:

ACTION for annulment of Council Regulation (EC) No 452/2007 of 23 April 2007 imposing a definitive anti-dumping duty and collecting definitively the provisional duty imposed on imports of ironing boards originating in the People’s Republic of China and Ukraine (OJ 2007 L 109, p. 12), in so far as it imposes an anti-dumping duty on imports of ironing boards manufactured by the applicant.

Operative part

The Court:

1.

Annuls Articles 1 and 2 of Council Regulation (EC) No 452/2007 of 23 April 2007 imposing a definitive anti-dumping duty and collecting definitively the provisional duty imposed on imports of ironing boards originating in the People’s Republic of China and Ukraine, in so far as they impose a definitive anti-dumping duty and collect definitively the provisional duty on ironing boards manufactured by Zhejiang Harmonic Hardware Products Co. Ltd;

2.

Orders the Council of the European Union to bear its own costs and to pay those incurred by Zhejiang Harmonic Hardware Products;

3.

Orders the European Commission, Vale Mill (Rochdale) Ltd, Pirola SpA and Colombo New Scale SpA to bear their own costs.