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Document 52019XC0923(01)

Notice of initiation of an expiry review of the anti-dumping measures applicable to imports of ammonium nitrate originating in Russia

C/2019/6654

OJ C 318, 23.9.2019, p. 6–17 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, HR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)

23.9.2019   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

C 318/6


Notice of initiation of an expiry review of the anti-dumping measures applicable to imports of ammonium nitrate originating in Russia

(2019/C 318/09)

Following the publication of a notice of impending expiry (1) of the anti-dumping measures in force on the imports of ammonium nitrate originating in Russia, the European Commission (‘the Commission’) has received a request for review pursuant to Article 11(2) 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 (2) (‘the basic Regulation’).

1.   Request for review

The request was lodged on 21 June 2019 by a European association of fertilizers manufacturers, Fertilizers Europe (‘the applicant’), on behalf of Union producers representing more than 25 %, of the Union production of ammonium nitrate.

An open version of the request and the analysis of the degree of support by Union producers for the request are available in the file for inspection by interested parties. Section 5.5 of this Notice provides information about access to the file for interested parties.

2.   Product under review

The product subject to this review is solid fertilizers with an ammonium nitrate content exceeding 80 % by weight, currently falling within CN codes 3102 30 90, 3102 40 90, ex 3102 29 00, ex 3102 60 00, ex 3102 90 00, ex 3105 10 00, ex 3105 20 10, ex 3105 51 00, ex 3105 59 00 and ex 3105 90 20 and originating in Russia (‘the product under review’).

3.   Existing measures

The measures currently in force are a definitive anti-dumping duty imposed by Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 999/2014 (3), as amended by Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/226 (4) and Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/1722 (5).

4.   Grounds for the review

The request is based on the grounds that the expiry of the measures would be likely to result in continuation of dumping and recurrence of injury to the Union industry.

4.1.    Allegation of likelihood of continuation of dumping

The applicant alleged and provided sufficient evidence of the absence of reliable data on domestic prices for Russia (‘the country concerned’) in the ordinary course of trade. Therefore, the applicant constructed the normal value on the basis of manufacturing costs in Russia with the exception of the input price for natural gas, which is based on the gas price for delivery at Waidhaus (DE), adjusted for transport costs, to which were added selling, general and administrative costs (SG&A) and normal profit in the United States of America.

Without prejudice to the allegations that domestic prices in the country concerned are unreliable, the applicant also provided evidence of a normal value based on actual domestic prices in the country concerned.

The constructed normal value and the actual domestic prices were compared with the export price (at ex-works level) of the product under review when sold for export to the Union and with the export price (at ex-works level) of the product under review when sold for export to Brazil, the latter representing over 40 % of Russian exports of the product under review.

Irrespective of the methodology used to determine the normal value or the destination of the export sales, the dumping margins are significant for the country concerned.

4.2.    Allegation of likelihood of recurrence of injury

The applicant alleged a likelihood of recurrence of injury. In this respect the applicant has provided sufficient evidence that, should measures be allowed to lapse, the current import level of the product under review from the country concerned to the Union is likely to increase. This is due to the existence of significant unused capacity of the exporting producers in Russia which allegedly accounts for approximately 19,5 % of Union consumption.

It is also alleged that the flow of imports of the product under review to the Union is likely to rise due to the fact that: (i) the Union is the most attractive market for Russia, (ii) the proximity of the two markets, (iii) the existence of more reliable customers in the EU when compared to other markets; and (iv) the Union being the largest consumer of AN in the world. Moreover, the allegation is also supported by the restrictions and closing of certain key markets for AN, i.e. the security ban on AN sales in 2016 in Turkey, and Ukraine’s and India’s trade defence measures on imports of AN from 2014 and 2017 respectively.

The applicant finally alleged that the removal of injury has been mainly due to the existence of measures. Thus, any increase of imports at dumped prices from the country concerned would likely lead to a recurrence of injury to the Union industry should measures be allowed to lapse.

5.   Procedure

Having determined, after consulting the Committee established by Article 15(1) of the basic Regulation, that sufficient evidence of a likelihood of dumping and injury exists to justify the initiation of an expiry review, the Commission hereby initiates a review in accordance with Article 11(2) of the basic Regulation.

The expiry review will determine whether the expiry of the measures would be likely to lead to a continuation or recurrence of dumping of the product under review originating in the country concerned and a continuation or recurrence of injury to the Union industry.

As already announced (6), the so-called TDI Modernisation package (Regulation (EU) 2018/825 of the European Parliament and of the Council (7), which entered into force on 8 June 2018), introduced, among other things, significant changes to the timetable and deadlines previously applicable in anti-dumping proceedings. The time-limits for interested parties to come forward, in particular at the early stage of investigations, are shortened. The timetable for this investigation, as set out in this Notice, includes specific instructions for the submission of information at various stages of the investigation and the organisation of hearings. Extensions to deadlines will also be made stricter and request for such extensions will be considered only if duly motivated. Therefore, the Commission invites interested parties to respect the procedural steps and deadlines provided in this Notice as well as in further communications from the Commission.

5.1.    Review investigation period and period considered

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

5.2.    Procedure for the determination of a likelihood of continuation or recurrence of dumping

In an expiry review, the Commission examines exports that were made to the Union in the review investigation period and, irrespective of exports to the Union, considers whether the situation of the companies producing and selling the product under review in the countries concerned is such that exports at dumped prices to the Union would be likely to continue or recur if measures expire.

Therefore, all producers (8) of the product under review from the countries concerned, irrespective of whether or not they exported the product under review to the Union in the review investigation period, are invited to participate in the Commission investigation.

5.2.1.   Investigating producers in the country concerned

Procedure for selecting exporting producers to be investigated in Russia

Sampling

In view of the potentially large number of exporting producers in Russia involved in this expiry review and in order to complete the investigation within the statutory time limits, the Commission may limit the 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 producers, or representatives acting on their behalf, including the ones who did not cooperate in the investigation leading to the measures subject to this review, are hereby requested to provide the Commission with the 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 the information it deems necessary for the selection of the sample of producers in the country concerned, the Commission will also contact the authorities of Russia and may contact any known associations of producers in the country concerned.

If a sample is necessary, the producers will be selected based on the largest representative volume of production, sales or exports which can reasonably be investigated within the time available. All known producers in the country concerned, the authorities of the country concerned and associations of producers in the country concerned will be notified by the Commission, via the authorities of the country concerned if appropriate, of the companies selected to be in the sample.

Once the Commission has received the necessary information to select a sample of producers, it will inform the parties concerned of its decision whether they are included in the sample. The sampled 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 to the file for inspection by interested parties reflecting the sample selection. 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 producers in the country concerned 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=2410.

The questionnaire will also be made available to any know association of producers, and to the authorities of the country concerned.

Without prejudice to the possible application of Article 18 of the basic Regulation, companies that have agreed to their possible inclusion in the sample but are not selected to be in the sample will be considered to be cooperating (‘non-sampled cooperating producers’).

5.2.2.   Investigating unrelated importers (9) (10)

Unrelated importers of the product under review from Russia to the Union, including those that did not cooperate in the investigation leading to the measures in force, are invited to participate in this investigation.

In view of the potentially large number of unrelated importers involved in this expiry review 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, including the ones who did not cooperate in the investigation leading to the measures subject to the present review, are hereby requested to make themselves known to the Commission. These parties must do so within 7 days of the date of publication of this Notice by providing the Commission with the information on their company(ies) requested in Annex II to 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 review from the country concerned in the Union, which can reasonably be investigated within the time available. All known unrelated importers and associations of importers will be notified by the Commission of the companies selected to be in the sample.

The Commission will also add a note to the file for inspection by interested parties reflecting the sample selection. 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 the 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 sample selection, unless otherwise specified.

A copy of the questionnaire for unrelated 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=2410.

5.3.    Procedure for the determination of a likelihood of continuation or recurrence of injury

5.3.1.   Investigating Union producers

In view of the large number of Union producers involved in this expiry review 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 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=2410.

5.4.    Procedure for the assessment of Union interest

Should the likelihood of continuation or recurrence of dumping and recurrence of injury be confirmed, a decision will be reached, pursuant to Article 21 of the basic Regulation, as to whether maintaining the 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 review.

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 review, 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=2410. In any case, information submitted pursuant to Article 21 will only be taken into account if supported by factual evidence at the time of submission.

5.5.    Interested parties

In order to participate in the investigation, interested parties, such as producers in the country concerned, 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 review.

Producers in the country concerned, Union producers, importers and representative associations who made information available in accordance to the procedures described in sections 5.2, 5.3 and 5.4 will be considered as interested parties if there is an objective link between their activities and the product under review.

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 review. 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 for 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.

5.6.    Other written submissions

Subject to the provisions of this notice, all interested parties are hereby invited to make their views known, submit information and provide supporting evidence. Unless otherwise specified, this information and supporting evidence must reach the Commission within 37 days of the date of publication of this Notice.

In particular, comments by interested parties regarding the product definition and product scope are to be made within 10 days from the date of publication of this Notice.

5.7.    Possibility to be heard by the Commission investigation services

All interested parties may request to be heard by the Commission 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.

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’ (11). 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 voluminous 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 TRON.tdi or 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 including principles that apply to submissions via TRON.tdi and 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

Emails

:

TRADE-R706-AN-DUMPING@ec.europa.eu

TRADE-R706-AN-INJURY@ec.europa.eu

6.   Schedule of the investigation

The investigation shall normally be concluded within 12 months and in any event no later than 15 months from the date of the publication of this Notice, pursuant to Article 11(5) of the basic Regulation.

7.   Submission of information

As a rule, interested parties may only submit information in the timeframes specified in section 5 of this Notice.

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.

Comments on the information provided by other interested parties in reaction to the disclosure of the definitive findings should be submitted within 5 days from the deadline to comment on the definitive findings, unless otherwise specified. If there is an additional final disclosure, comments filed by other interested parties in reaction to this further disclosure should be made within 1 day from the deadline to comment on this further 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 be normally 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, 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 shows that presenting the response as requested would result in an unreasonable extra burden or unreasonable additional cost. The 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 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. 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.   Possibility to request a review under Article 11(3) of the basic Regulation

As this expiry review is initiated in accordance with the provisions of Article 11(2) of the basic Regulation, the findings thereof will not lead to the existing measures being amended but will lead to those measures being repealed or maintained in accordance with Article 11(6) of the basic Regulation.

If any interested party considers that a review of the measures is warranted so as to allow for the possibility to amend the measures, that party may request a review pursuant to Article 11(3) of the basic Regulation.

Parties wishing to request such a review, which would be carried out independently of the expiry review mentioned in this Notice, may contact the Commission at the address given above.

13.   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 (12).

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://ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/accessing-markets/trade-defence/.


(1)  OJ C 53, 11.2.2019, p. 3.

(2)  OJ L 176, 30.6.2016, p. 21.

(3)  OJ L 280, 24.9.2014, p. 19.

(4)  OJ L 41, 18.2.2016, p. 13.

(5)  OJ L 287, 15.11.2018, p. 3.

(6)  See memo ‘Short overview of the deadlines and timelines in the investigative process’, available at: http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2018/june/tradoc_156922.pdf

(7)  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).

(8)  A producer is any company in the country concerned which produces the product under review, including any of its related companies involved in the production, domestic sales or exports of the product under review.

(9)  Only importers not related to producers in the countries concerned can be sampled. Importers that are related to 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).

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

(11)  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).

(12)  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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