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Document 52019XC0812(01)

Notice of initiation of an anti-dumping proceeding concerning imports of certain hot rolled stainless steel sheets and coils originating in the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan and Indonesia

OJ C 269I , 12.8.2019, p. 1–17 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, HR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)

12.8.2019   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

CI 269/1


Notice of initiation of an anti-dumping proceeding concerning imports of certain hot rolled stainless steel sheets and coils originating in the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan and Indonesia

(2019/C 269 I/01)

The European Commission (‘the Commission’) has received a complaint pursuant to Article 5 of Regulation (EU) 2016/1036 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 June 2016 on protection against dumped imports from countries not members of the European Union (1) (‘the basic Regulation’), alleging that imports of certain hot rolled stainless steel sheets and coils, originating in the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan and Indonesia, are being dumped and are thereby causing injury (2) to the Union industry.

1.   Complaint

The complaint was lodged on 28 June 2019 by Eurofer, the European Steel Association (‘the complainant’), on behalf of four Union producers representing the entirety of Union production of certain hot rolled stainless steel sheets and coils.

An open version of the complaint and the analysis of the degree of support by Union producers for the complaint are available in the file for inspection by interested parties. Section 5.6 of this Notice provides information about access to the file for interested parties.

2.   Product under investigation

The product subject to this investigation is flat-rolled products of stainless steel, whether or not in coils (including products cut-to-length and narrow strip), not further worked than hot-rolled (‘the product under investigation’).

The following products are excluded:

Products, not in coils, of a width of 600 mm or more and of a thickness exceeding 10 mm.

All interested parties wishing to submit information on the product scope must do so within 10 days of the date of publication of this Notice (3).

3.   Allegation of dumping

The product allegedly being dumped is the product under investigation, originating in the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan and Indonesia (‘the countries concerned’), currently falling under HS codes 7219 11, 7219 12, 7219 13, 7219 14, 7219 22, 7219 23, 7219 24, 7220 11 and 7220 12. The HS codes are given for information only.

—   Indonesia and Taiwan

In the absence of reliable data on domestic prices for Indonesia and Taiwan, the allegation of dumping is based on a comparison of a constructed normal value (manufacturing costs, selling, general and administrative costs – SG&A – and profit) with the export price (at ex-works level) of the product under investigation when sold for export to the Union.

On that basis, the dumping margins calculated are significant for both Indonesia and Taiwan.

—   The People’s Republic of China

The complainant claimed that it is not appropriate to use domestic prices and costs in the People’s Republic of China, due to the existence of significant distortions within the meaning of point (b) of Article 2(6a) of the basic Regulation.

To substantiate the allegations of significant distortions, the complainant mainly relied on the information contained in the country report produced by the Commission services on 20 December 2017 (‘Report on Significant Distortions in the Economy of the PRC for the purposes of the trade defence investigations’), describing the specific market circumstances in the People’s Republic of China. In particular, the complainant claimed that the production and sale of the product under investigation is potentially affected by the distortions mentioned, inter alia, in the chapter ‘steel sector’ of the country report. Further, the complaint refers to the 13th 5-Year Plan (2016-2020) which identifies the steel industry as a fundamental sector of the Chinese economy.

As a result, in view of Article 2(6a)(a) of the basic Regulation, the allegation of dumping is based on a comparison of a constructed normal value on the basis of costs of production and sale reflecting undistorted prices or benchmarks in an appropriate representative country, with the export price (at ex-works level) of the product under investigation when sold for export to the Union.

On that basis, the dumping margin calculated is significant for the People’s Republic of China.

In light of the information available, the Commission considers that there is sufficient evidence pursuant to Article 5(9) of the basic Regulation tending to show that, due to significant distortions affecting prices and costs in the People’s Republic of China, the use of domestic prices and costs in that country is inappropriate, thus warranting the initiation of an investigation on the basis of Article 2(6a) of the basic Regulation.

The country report is available in the file for inspection by interested parties and on DG Trade’s website (4).

4.   Allegations of injury, causation and raw materials distortions

4.1.    Allegations of injury and causation

The complainant has provided evidence that imports of the product under investigation from the countries concerned have increased overall in absolute terms and have increased in terms of market share.

The evidence provided by the complainant shows that the volume and the prices of the imported product under investigation have had, among other consequences, a negative impact on the quantities sold by the Union industry, resulting, over a prolonged period of time, in continuous adverse effects on the financial situation, the employment situation and the overall economic performance of the Union industry. According to the complaint, there is indication that further injury will crystallise from this situation of volume and price pressure.

4.2.    Allegation of raw materials distortions

The complainant has provided sufficient evidence that there are raw material distortions in the People’s Republic of China and Indonesia regarding the product under investigation. According to the evidence in the complaint, nickel and chromium, that represent individually more than 17 % of the cost of production of the product under investigation are distorted because of export restrictions in the People’s Republic of China (export tax on nickel and chromium) and Indonesia (a 10 % export duty on ore with a nickel concentration below 1,7 % (5) and an export prohibition on ore with a nickel concentration of 1,7 % or higher).

Therefore, in accordance with Article 7(2a) of the basic Regulation, the investigation will examine the alleged distortions to assess whether, if relevant, a duty lower than the margin of dumping would be sufficient to remove injury with regard to the People’s Republic of China and Indonesia. Should other distortions covered by Article 7(2a) of the basic Regulation be identified in the course of the investigation, the investigation may also cover these other distortions.

5.   Procedure

Having determined, after informing the Member States, that the complaint has been lodged by or on behalf of the Union industry and that there is sufficient evidence to justify the initiation of a proceeding, the Commission hereby initiates an investigation pursuant to Article 5 of the basic Regulation.

The investigation will determine whether the product under investigation originating in the countries concerned is being dumped and whether the dumped imports have caused injury to the Union industry.

If the conclusions are affirmative, the investigation will examine whether the imposition of measures would not be against the Union interest under Article 21 of the basic Regulation. Regarding the People’s Republic of China and Indonesia, if Article 7(2a) of the basic Regulation is applied, the investigation will examine the Union's interest test under Article 7(2b) of that Regulation.

Regulation (EU) 2018/825 of the European Parliament and of the Council (6), which entered into force on 8 June 2018 (TDI Modernisation package), introduced significant changes to the timeline and deadlines previously applicable in anti-dumping proceedings (7). In particular, investigations will be conducted more expeditiously and any provisional measures may be imposed up to two months earlier than previously. The time limits for interested parties to come forward, in particular at the early stage of investigations, are shortened. Therefore, the Commission invites interested parties to respect the procedural steps and deadlines provided in this Notice as well as further communications from the Commission.

5.1.    Investigation period and period considered

The investigation of dumping and injury will cover the period from 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019 (‘the investigation period’). The examination of trends relevant for the assessment of injury will cover the period from 1 January 2016 to the end of the investigation period (‘the period considered’).

5.2.    Comments on the complaint and the initiation of the investigation

All interested parties are invited to make their views known on the inputs and the Harmonised System (HS) (8) codes provided in the complaint within 15 days of the date of publication of this Notice.

All interested parties wishing to comment on the complaint (including matters pertaining to injury and causality) or any aspects regarding the initiation of the investigation (including the degree of support for the complaint) must do so within 37 days of the date of publication of this Notice.

Any request for a hearing with regard to the initiation of the investigation must be submitted within 15 days of the date of publication of this Notice.

5.3.    Procedure for the determination of dumping

Exporting producers (9) of the product under investigation from the countries concerned are invited to participate in the Commission investigation.

5.3.1.   Investigating exporting producers

5.3.1.1.   Procedure for selecting exporting producers to be investigated in the People’s Republic of China

(a)   Sampling

In view of the potentially large number of exporting producers in the People’s Republic of China involved in this proceeding and in order to complete the investigation within the statutory time limits, the Commission may limit the exporting producers to be investigated to a reasonable number by selecting a sample (this process is also referred to as ‘sampling’). The sampling will be carried out in accordance with Article 17 of the basic Regulation.

In order to enable the Commission to decide whether sampling is necessary, and if so, to select a sample, all exporting producers, or representatives acting on their behalf, are hereby requested to provide the Commission with information on their company(ies) requested in Annex I to this Notice within 7 days of the date of publication of this Notice.

In order to obtain information it deems necessary for the selection of the sample of exporting producers, the Commission has also contacted the authorities of the People’s Republic of China and may contact any known associations of exporting producers.

If a sample is necessary, the exporting producers may be selected based on the largest representative volume of exports to the Union which can reasonably be investigated within the time available. All known exporting producers, the authorities of the People’s Republic of China and associations of exporting producers will be notified by the Commission, via the authorities of the People’s Republic of China if appropriate, of the companies selected to be in the sample.

Once the Commission has received the necessary information to select a sample of exporting producers, it will inform the parties concerned of its decision whether they are included in the sample. The sampled exporting producers will have to submit a completed questionnaire within 30 days from the date of notification of the decision of their inclusion in the sample, unless otherwise specified.

The Commission will add a note reflecting the sample selection to the file for inspection by interested parties. Any comment on the sample selection must be received within 3 days of the date of notification of the sample decision.

A copy of the questionnaire for exporting producers is available in the file for inspection by interested parties and on DG Trade's website http://trade.ec.europa.eu/tdi/case_details.cfm?id=2411.

The questionnaire will also be made available to any known association of exporting producers, and to the authorities of the People’s Republic of China.

Without prejudice to the possible application of Article 18 of the basic Regulation, exporting producers that have filled in Annex I within the specified deadline and agreed to be included in the sample but are not selected as part of the sample will be considered to be cooperating (‘non-sampled cooperating exporting producers’). Without prejudice to section 5.3.1.1(b) below, the anti-dumping duty that may be applied to imports from non-sampled cooperating exporting producers will not exceed the weighted average margin of dumping established for the exporting producers in the sample (10).

(b)   Individual dumping margin for exporting producers not included in the sample

Pursuant to Article 17(3) of the basic Regulation, non-sampled cooperating exporting producers may request the Commission to establish their individual dumping margins. Exporting producers wishing to claim an individual dumping margin must fill in the questionnaire and return it duly completed within 30 days of the date of notification of the sample selection, unless otherwise specified. A copy of the questionnaire for exporting producers is available in the file for inspection by interested parties and on DG Trade's website http://trade.ec.europa.eu/tdi/case_details.cfm?id=2411.

The Commission will examine whether non-sampled cooperating exporting producers can be granted an individual duty in accordance with Article 9(5) of the basic Regulation.

However, non-sampled cooperating exporting producers claiming an individual dumping margin should be aware that the Commission may nonetheless decide not to determine their individual dumping margin if, for instance, the number of non-sampled cooperating exporting producers is so large that such determination would be unduly burdensome and would prevent the timely completion of the investigation.

5.3.1.2.   Procedure for exporting producers to be investigated in Taiwan and Indonesia

All exporting producers and associations of exporting producers in Taiwan and Indonesia are invited to contact the Commission, preferably by e-mail, immediately but no later than 7 days after the publication of this Notice, in order to make themselves known.

Exporting producers in Taiwan and Indonesia have to fill in a questionnaire within 37 days from the date of publication of this Notice. The questionnaire will also be made available to any known association of exporting producers, and to the authorities of Taiwan and Indonesia.

A copy of the above-captioned questionnaire for exporting producers is available in the file for inspection by interested parties and on DG Trade's website http://trade.ec.europa.eu/tdi/case_details.cfm?id=2411.

5.3.2.   Additional procedure with regard to the country concerned subject to significant distortions, i.e. the People’s Republic of China

Subject to the provisions of this Notice, all interested parties are hereby invited to make their views known, submit information and provide supporting evidence regarding the application of Article 2(6a) of the basic Regulation. Unless otherwise specified, this information and supporting evidence must reach the Commission within 37 days of the date of publication of this Notice.

In order to obtain the information it deems necessary for its investigation with regard to the alleged significant distortions within the meaning of point (b) of Article 2(6a) of the basic Regulation, the Commission will also send a questionnaire to the Government of the country concerned. Pursuant to point (e) of Article 2(6a) of the basic Regulation, the Commission will shortly after initiation, by means of a note to the file for inspection by interested parties, inform parties to the investigation about the relevant sources, including the selection of an appropriate representative third country where appropriate, that it intends to use for the purpose of determining normal value pursuant to Article 2(6a). Parties to the investigation are to be given 10 days to comment on the note, in accordance with point (e) of Article 2(6a). According to the information available to the Commission, a possible appropriate representative third country is Brazil. With the aim of finally selecting the appropriate representative third country the Commission will examine whether there are also other possible representative third countries with a level of economic development similar to that of the People’s Republic of China, whether there is production and sales of the product under investigation in those third countries and whether relevant data are readily available. Where there is more than one representative third country, preference will be given, where appropriate, to countries with an adequate level of social and environmental protection.

In the context of this exercise, the Commission invites all exporting producers in the People’s Republic of China to provide the information requested in Annex III to this Notice within 15 days of the date of publication of this Notice.

Furthermore, any submissions of factual information to value costs and prices pursuant to point (a) of Article 2(6a) of the basic Regulation must be filed within 65 days of the date of publication of this Notice. Such factual information should be taken exclusively from publicly available sources.

5.3.3.   Investigating unrelated importers (11) (12)

Unrelated importers of the product under investigation from the countries concerned to the Union are invited to participate in this investigation.

In view of the potentially large number of unrelated importers involved in this proceeding and in order to complete the investigation within the statutory time limits, the Commission may limit to a reasonable number the unrelated importers that will be investigated by selecting a sample (this process is also referred to as ‘sampling’). The sampling will be carried out in accordance with Article 17 of the basic Regulation.

In order to enable the Commission to decide whether sampling is necessary and, if so, to select a sample, all unrelated importers, or representatives acting on their behalf, are hereby requested to provide the Commission with the information on their company(ies) requested in Annex II to this Notice within 7 days of the date of publication of this Notice.

In order to obtain information it deems necessary for the selection of the sample of unrelated importers, the Commission may also contact any known associations of importers.

If a sample is necessary, the importers may be selected based on the largest representative volume of sales of the product under investigation in the Union which can reasonably be investigated within the time available.

Once the Commission has received the necessary information to select a sample, it will inform the parties concerned of its decision on the sample of importers. The Commission will also add a note reflecting the sample selection to the file for inspection by interested parties. Any comment on the sample selection must be received within 3 days of the date of notification of the sample decision.

In order to obtain information it deems necessary for its investigation, the Commission will send questionnaires to the sampled unrelated importers. Those parties must submit a completed questionnaire within 30 days from the date of the notification of the decision about the sample, unless otherwise specified.

A copy of the questionnaire for importers is available in the file for inspection by interested parties and on DG Trade's website http://trade.ec.europa.eu/tdi/case_details.cfm?id=2411.

5.4.    Procedure for the determination of injury and investigating Union producers

A determination of injury is based on positive evidence and involves an objective examination of the volume of the dumped imports, their effect on prices on the Union market and the consequent impact of those imports on the Union industry. In order to establish whether the Union industry is injured, Union producers of the product under investigation are invited to participate in the Commission investigation.

In view of the potentially large number of Union producers concerned and in order to complete the investigation within the statutory time limits, the Commission has decided to limit to a reasonable number the Union producers that will be investigated by selecting a sample (this process is also referred to as ‘sampling’). The sampling is carried out in accordance with Article 17 of the basic Regulation.

The Commission has provisionally selected a sample of Union producers. Details can be found in the file for inspection by interested parties. Interested parties are hereby invited to comment on the provisional sample. In addition, other Union producers, or representatives acting on their behalf, that consider that there are reasons why they should be included in the sample must contact the Commission within 7 days of the date of publication of this Notice. All comments regarding the provisional sample must be received within 7 days of the date of publication of this Notice, unless otherwise specified.

All known Union producers and/or associations of Union producers will be notified by the Commission of the companies finally selected to be in the sample.

The sampled Union producers will have to submit a completed questionnaire within 30 days from the date of notification of the final decision of their inclusion in the sample, unless otherwise specified.

A copy of the questionnaire for Union producers is available in the file for inspection by interested parties and on DG Trade's website http://trade.ec.europa.eu/tdi/case_details.cfm?id=2411.

5.5.    Procedure for the assessment of Union interest

(a)   The People’s Republic of China and Indonesia

In cases of distortions on raw materials as defined in Article 7(2a) of the basic Regulation, the Commission will conduct a Union interest test pursuant to Article 7(2b) of that Regulation. If the Commission decides, when establishing the level of duties subject to Article 7 of that Regulation, to apply Article 7(2), it will carry out the Union interest test in accordance with Article 21 of the basic Regulation.

Interested parties are invited to provide all pertinent information enabling the Commission to determine whether it is in the Union interest to set the level of the measures in accordance with Article 7(2a) of the basic Regulation. In particular, interested parties are invited to provide any information about spare capacities in the countries concerned, competition for raw materials and the effect on supply chains for European companies. In the absence of cooperation, the Commission may conclude that it is in accordance with the Union interest to apply Article 7(2a) of the basic Regulation.

Should the Commission decide to apply Article 7(2) of the basic Regulation, a decision will be reached, pursuant to Article 21 of the basic Regulation, as to whether the adoption of anti-dumping measures would not be against the Union interest. Union producers, importers and their representative associations, users and their representative associations, trade unions and representative consumer organisations are invited to provide the Commission with information on the Union interest. In order to participate in the investigation, representative consumer organisations have to demonstrate that there is an objective link between their activities and the product under investigation.

Information concerning the assessment of Union interest must be provided within 37 days of the date of publication of this Notice unless otherwise specified. This information may be provided either in a free format or by completing a questionnaire prepared by the Commission. The information submitted will only be taken into account if supported by factual evidence at the time of submission.

(b)   Taiwan

Should the existence of dumping and injury caused thereby be established, a decision will be reached, pursuant to Article 21 of the basic Regulation, as to whether the adoption of anti-dumping measures would not be against the Union interest. Union producers, importers and their representative associations, users and their representative associations, trade unions and representative consumer organisations are invited to provide the Commission with information on the Union interest. In order to participate in the investigation, the representative consumer organisations have to demonstrate that there is an objective link between their activities and the product under investigation.

Information concerning the assessment of Union interest must be provided within 37 days of the date of publication of this Notice unless otherwise specified. This information may be provided either in a free format or by completing a questionnaire prepared by the Commission. A copy of the questionnaires, including the questionnaire for users of the product under investigation, is available in the file for inspection by interested parties and on DG Trade’s website http://trade.ec.europa.eu/tdi/case_details.cfm?id=2411. The information submitted pursuant to Article 21 of the basic Regulation will only be taken into account if supported by factual evidence at the time of submission.

5.6.    Interested parties

In order to participate in the investigation interested parties, such as exporting producers, Union producers, importers and their representative associations, users and their representative associations, trade unions and representative consumer organisations first have to demonstrate that there is an objective link between their activities and the product under investigation.

Exporting producers, Union producers, importers and representative associations who made information available in accordance to the procedures described in sections 5.3, 5.4 and 5.5 above will be considered as interested parties if there is an objective link between their activities and the product under investigation.

Other parties will only be able to participate in the investigation as interested party from the moment they make themselves known, and provided that there is an objective link between their activities and the product under investigation. Being considered as an interested party is without prejudice to the application of Article 18 of the basic Regulation.

Access to the file available for inspection by interested parties is made via Tron.tdi at the following address: https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/tron/TDI. Please follow the instructions on that page to get access.

5.7.    Possibility to be heard by the Commission investigation services

All interested parties may request to be heard by the Commission's investigation services.

Any request to be heard must be made in writing and must specify the reasons for the request as well as a summary of what the interested party wishes to discuss during the hearing. The hearing will be limited to the issues set out by the interested parties in writing beforehand.

The timeframe for hearings is as follows:

For any hearings to take place before the deadline for the imposition of provisional measures, a request should be made within 15 days from the date of publication of this Notice and the hearing will normally take place within 60 days of the date of publication of this Notice.

After the stage of provisional findings, a request should be made within 5 days from the date of the disclosure of the provisional findings or of the information document, and the hearing will normally take place within 15 days from the date of notification of the disclosure or the date of the information document.

At the stage of definitive findings, a request should be made within 3 days from the date of the final disclosure, and the hearing will normally take place within the period granted to comment on the final disclosure. If there is an additional final disclosure, a request should be made immediately upon receipt of this additional final disclosure, and the hearing will normally take place within the deadline to provide comments on this disclosure.

The outlined timeframe is without prejudice to the right of the Commission services to accept hearings outside the timeframe in duly justified cases and to the right of the Commission to deny hearings in duly justified cases. Where the Commission services refuse a hearing request, the party concerned will be informed of the reasons for such refusal.

In principle, hearings will not be used to present factual information which is not yet on file. Nevertheless, in the interest of good administration and to enable Commission services to progress with the investigation, interested parties may be directed to provide new factual information after a hearing.

5.8.    Instructions for making written submissions and sending completed questionnaires and correspondence

Information submitted to the Commission for the purpose of trade defence investigations shall be free from copyrights. Interested parties, before submitting to the Commission information and/or data which is subject to third party copyrights, must request specific permission to the copyright holder explicitly allowing the Commission a) to use the information and data for the purpose of this trade defence proceeding and b) to provide the information and/or data to interested parties to this investigation in a form that allows them to exercise their rights of defence.

All written submissions, including the information requested in this Notice, completed questionnaires and correspondence provided by interested parties for which confidential treatment is requested shall be labelled ‘Limited’ (13). Parties submitting information in the course of this investigation are invited to reason their request for confidential treatment.

Parties providing ‘Limited’ information are required to furnish non-confidential summaries of it pursuant to Article 19(2) of the basic Regulation, which will be labelled ‘For inspection by interested parties’. Those summaries should be sufficiently detailed to permit a reasonable understanding of the substance of the information submitted in confidence.

If a party providing confidential information fails to show good cause for a confidential treatment request or does not furnish a non-confidential summary of it in the requested format and quality, the Commission may disregard such information unless it can be satisfactorily demonstrated from appropriate sources that the information is correct.

Interested parties are invited to make all submissions and requests via TRON.tdi (https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/tron/TDI), including scanned powers of attorney and certification sheets, with the exception of large replies, which shall be submitted on a CD-R or DVD by hand or by registered mail.

In order to have access to TRON.tdi, interested parties need an EU Login account. Full instructions on how to register and use TRON.tdi are available on https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/tron/resources/documents/gettingStarted.pdf.

By using TRON.tdi or email, interested parties express their agreement with the rules applicable to electronic submissions contained in the document ‘CORRESPONDENCE WITH THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION IN TRADE DEFENCE CASES’ published on the website of the Directorate-General for Trade: http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2011/june/tradoc_148003.pdf. The interested parties must indicate their name, address, telephone and a valid email address and they should ensure that the provided email address is a functioning official business email which is checked on a daily basis. Once contact details are provided, the Commission will communicate with interested parties by email only, unless they explicitly request to receive all documents from the Commission by another means of communication or unless the nature of the document to be sent requires the use of a registered mail. For further rules and information concerning correspondence with the Commission including principles that apply to submissions by email, interested parties should consult the communication instructions with interested parties referred to above.

Commission address for correspondence:

European Commission

Directorate-General for Trade

Directorate H

Office: CHAR 04/039

1049 Bruxelles/Brussel

BELGIQUE/BELGIË

TRON.tdi:

https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/tron/tdi

Email injury aspects:

TRADE-AD658-SSHR-INJURY@ec.europa.eu

Email dumping aspects China:

TRADE-AD658-SSHR-DUMPING-CN@ec.europa.eu

Email dumping aspects Indonesia:

TRADE-AD658-SSHR-DUMPING-ID@ec.europa.eu

Email dumping aspects Taiwan:

TRADE-AD658-SSHR-DUMPING-TW@ec.europa.eu

6.   Schedule of the investigation

The investigation is, whenever possible, to be concluded within one year but in any event not later than 14 months from the date of publication of this Notice, pursuant to Article 6(9) of the basic Regulation. In accordance with Article 7(1) of the basic Regulation, provisional measures may be imposed normally not later than 7 months, but in any event not later than 8 months from the publication of this Notice.

In accordance with Article 19a of the basic Regulation, the Commission will provide information on the planned imposition of provisional duties 3 weeks before the imposition of provisional measures. Interested parties may request this information in writing within 4 months of the publication of this notice. Interested parties will be given 3 working days to comment in writing on the accuracy of the calculations.

In cases where the Commission intends not to impose provisional duties but to continue the investigation, interested parties will be informed in writing of the non-imposition of duties 3 weeks before the expiry of the deadline under Article 7(1) of the basic Regulation.

Interested parties will be given 15 days to comment in writing on the provisional findings and 10 days to comment in writing on the definitive findings, unless otherwise specified. Where applicable, additional final disclosures will specify the deadline for interested parties to comment in writing.

7.   Submission of information

As a rule, interested parties may only submit information in the timeframes specified in sections 5 and 6 of this Notice. The submission of any other information not covered by those sections, should respect the following timeframe:

Any information for the stage of provisional findings should be submitted within 70 days from the date of publication of this Notice, unless otherwise specified.

Unless otherwise specified, interested parties should not submit new factual information after the deadline to comment on the disclosure of the provisional findings or the information document at the stage of provisional findings. After this deadline, interested parties may only submit new factual information if they can demonstrate that such new factual information is necessary to rebut factual allegations made by other interested parties and provided that such new factual information can be verified within the time available to complete the investigation in a timely manner.

In order to complete the investigation within the mandatory deadlines, the Commission will not accept submissions from interested parties after the deadline to provide comments on the final disclosure or, if applicable, after the deadline to provide comments on the additional final disclosure.

8.   Possibility to comment on other parties' submissions

In order to guarantee the rights of defence, interested parties should have the possibility to comment on information submitted by other interested parties. When doing so, interested parties may only address issues raised in the other interested parties' submissions and may not raise new issues.

Such comments should be made according to the following timeframe:

Any comment on information submitted by other interested parties before the deadline of imposition of provisional measures should be made at the latest on day 75 from the date of publication of this Notice, unless otherwise specified.

Comments on the information provided by other interested parties in reaction to the disclosure of the provisional findings or of the information document should be submitted within 7 days from the deadline to comment on the provisional findings or on the information document, unless otherwise specified.

Comments on the information provided by other interested parties in reaction to the final disclosure should be submitted within 3 days from the deadline to comment on the final disclosure, unless otherwise specified. If there is an additional final disclosure, comments on the information provided by other interested parties in reaction to this disclosure should be made within 1 day from the deadline to comment on this disclosure, unless otherwise specified.

The outlined timeframe is without prejudice to the Commission's right to request additional information from interested parties in duly justified cases.

9.   Extension to time limits specified in this Notice

Any extension to the time limits provided for in this Notice can only be requested in exceptional circumstances and will only be granted if duly justified.

Extensions to the deadline to reply to questionnaires may be granted, if duly justified, and will normally be limited to 3 additional days. As a rule, such extensions will not exceed 7 days. Regarding time limits for the submission of other information specified in this Notice, extensions will be limited to 3 days, unless exceptional circumstances are demonstrated.

10.   Non-cooperation

In cases where any interested party refuses access to or does not provide the necessary information within the time limits, or significantly impedes the investigation, provisional or final findings, affirmative or negative, may be made on the basis of facts available, in accordance with Article 18 of the basic Regulation.

Where it is found that any interested party has supplied false or misleading information, the information may be disregarded and use may be made of facts available.

If an interested party does not cooperate or cooperates only partially and findings are therefore based on facts available in accordance with Article 18 of the basic Regulation, the result may be less favourable to that party than if it had cooperated.

Failure to give a computerised response shall not be deemed to constitute non-cooperation, provided that the interested party concerned shows that presenting the response as requested would result in an unreasonable extra burden or unreasonable additional cost. That interested party should immediately contact the Commission.

11.   Hearing Officer

Interested parties may request the intervention of the Hearing Officer for trade proceedings. The Hearing Officer reviews requests for access to the file, disputes regarding the confidentiality of documents, requests for extension of time limits and any other request concerning the rights of defence of interested parties and third parties as may arise during the proceeding.

The Hearing Officer may organise hearings and mediate between the interested party/-ies and Commissions services to ensure that the interested parties' rights of defence are being fully exercised. A request for a hearing with the Hearing Officer should be made in writing and should specify the reasons for the request. The Hearing Officer will examine the reasons for the requests. These hearings should only take place if the issues have not been settled with the Commission services in the due course.

Any request must be submitted in good time and expeditiously so as not to jeopardise the orderly conduct of proceedings. To that effect, interested parties should request the intervention of the Hearing Officer at the earliest possible time following the occurrence of the event justifying such intervention. In principle, the timeframes set out in section 5.7 to request hearings with the Commission services apply mutatis mutandis to requests for hearings with the Hearing Officer. Where hearing requests are submitted outside the relevant timeframes, the Hearing Officer will also examine the reasons for such late requests, the nature of the issues raised and the impact of those issues on the rights of defence, having due regard to the interests of good administration and the timely completion of the investigation.

For further information and contact details, interested parties may consult the Hearing Officer's web pages on DG Trade's website: http://ec.europa.eu/trade/trade-policy-and-you/contacts/hearing-officer/.

12.   Processing of personal data

Any personal data collected in this investigation will be treated in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 of the European Parliament and of the Council (14).

A data protection notice that informs all individuals of the processing of personal data in the framework of Commission’s trade defence activities is available on DG Trade’s website: http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2019/april/tradoc_157872.pdf


(1)  OJ L 176, 30.6.2016, p. 21.

(2)  The general term ‘injury’ refers to material injury as well as to threat of material injury or material retardation of the establishment of an industry as set out in Article 3(1) of the basic Regulation.

(3)  References to the publication of this Notice mean publication of this Notice in the Official Journal of the European Union.

(4)  Report on Significant Distortions in the Economy of the PRC for the purposes of the trade defence investigations, 20.12.2017, SWD (2017) 483 final/2 available at: http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2017/december/tradoc_156474.pdf. Documents cited in the country report may also be obtained upon a duly reasoned request.

(5)  With regard to ore with a nickel concentration < 1,7 %, export may only be conducted if the holder of mining business license for operation and production has utilized ore with this nickel concentration for at least 30 % of input capacity of its processing and refining facility and it has established or is establishing refining facility either solely or jointly with other parties.

(6)  Regulation (EU) 2018/825 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2018 amending Regulation (EU) 2016/1036 on protection against dumped imports from countries not members of the European Union and Regulation (EU) 2016/1037 on protection against subsidised imports from countries not members of the European Union (OJ L 143, 7.6.2018, p. 1).

(7)  ‘Short overview of the deadlines and timelines in the investigative process’ in DG TRADE’s website http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2018/june/tradoc_156922.pdf

(8)  The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System generally referred to as ‘Harmonized System’ or simply ‘HS’ is a multipurpose international product nomenclature developed by the World Customs Organization (WCO).

(9)  An exporting producer is any company in the countries concerned which produces and exports the product under investigation to the Union market, either directly or via a third party, including any of its related companies involved in the production, domestic sales or exports of the product under investigation.

(10)  Pursuant to Article 9(6) of the basic Regulation, any zero and de minimis margins, and margins established in accordance with the circumstances described in Article 18 of the basic Regulation will be disregarded.

(11)  This section covers only importers not related to exporting producers. Importers that are related to exporting producers have to fill in Annex I to the questionnaire for these exporting producers. In accordance with Article 127 of Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/2447 of 24 November 2015 laying down detailed rules for implementing certain provisions of Regulation (EU) No 952/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down the Union Customs Code, two persons shall be deemed to be related if: (a) they are officers or directors of the other person's business; (b) they are legally recognised partners in business; (c) they are employer and employee; (d) a third party directly or indirectly owns, controls or holds 5 % or more of the outstanding voting stock or shares of both of them; (e) one of them directly or indirectly controls the other; (f) both of them are directly or indirectly controlled by a third person; (g) together they control a third person directly or indirectly; or (h) they are members of the same family (OJ L 343, 29.12.2015, p. 558). Persons shall be deemed to be members of the same family only if they stand in any of the following relationships to one another: (i) husband and wife, (ii) parent and child, (iii) brother and sister (whether by whole or half blood), (iv) grandparent and grandchild, (v) uncle or aunt and nephew or niece, (vi) parent-in-law and son-in-law or daughter-in-law, (vii) brother-in-law and sister-in-law. In accordance with Article 5(4) of Regulation (EU) No 952/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down the Union Customs Code, ‘person’ means a natural person, a legal person, and any association of persons which is not a legal person but which is recognised under Union or national law as having the capacity to perform legal acts (OJ L 269, 10.10.2013, p. 1).

(12)  The data provided by unrelated importers may also be used in relation to aspects of this investigation other than the determination of dumping.

(13)  A ‘Limited’ document is a document which is considered confidential pursuant to Article 19 of the basic Regulation and Article 6 of the WTO Agreement on Implementation of Article VI of the GATT 1994 (Anti-Dumping Agreement). It is also a document protected pursuant to Article 4 of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council (OJ L 145, 31.5.2001, p. 43).

(14)  Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2018 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data by the Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 and Decision No 1247/2002/EC (OJ L 295, 21.11.2018, p. 39).


ANNEX I

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ANNEX II

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ANNEX III

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