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Jan 2024

AD investigation opened: possible scenarios reviewed

Published on Dec 23 2023 on our platform.


The notice of initiation of an anti-dumping proceeding concerning imports of biodiesel originating from China (C/2023/1574) was published this morning. We review here the possible scenarios linked to this new investigation.


Timeline of the proceeding

From today, the investigation shall begin with the publication of questionnaires, the (non-mandatory) creation of a sampling group of exporters and the (non-mandatory) verification visits. This investigation phase typically lasts between six and seven months.

A 3-week period of “pre-disclosure” follows to receive privileged stakeholders’ comments about the accuracy of the dumping/injury calculations.

As of the initiation of the investigation and before the pre-disclosure period, the registration of imports can be decided by the EC on its own initiative or following a request from the Union industry that contains sufficient evidence to justify such action. This includes records of a surge of imports in a relatively short period of time, which would be likely to seriously undermine the remedial effect of any definitive anti-dumping duties, unless such duties would be applied retroactively.

During the pre-disclosure period, the EC shall register imports unless there is no history of dumping over an extended period of time or there is no further substantial rise in imports. The registration of imports is enforced by the publication of a Commission Regulation. It cannot last more than 9 months.

The EC may publish provisional measures no earlier than 2 months and normally no later than 7 months from today (July 19, 2024). It can’t publish them during the pre-disclosure period and in any case no later than 8 months from the initiation of the proceedings. The provisional duties shall be secured by a guarantee, which payment will allow for the Customs’ release of the products for free circulation in the EU. They can be imposed for 6 months (with a 3 month extension option) or for 9 months.

Provisional duties may apply retroactively on registered imports, but only 3 months prior to their publication.

The imposition of provisional measures is not mandatory. After the disclosure of provisional findings, the EC will gather comments. It can then accept satisfactory voluntary undertaking offers submitted by any exporter to revise its prices or to cease exports at dumped prices, if the injurious effect of the dumping is thereby eliminated. This would automatically suspend the eventual imposition of preliminary duties.

The EC may publish definitive measures normally no later than 13 months after the initiation (January 19, 2025)and in any case, no later than 14 months.

A definitive anti-dumping duty may be levied retroactively on products only if the four following conditions are met:

  • Imports have been registered
  • Importers concerned have been allowed to comment
  • There is a history of dumping over an extended period
  • There is a further substantial rise in imports which is likely to seriously undermine the remedial effect of the definitive anti-dumping duty to be applied

If the definitive anti-dumping duty is higher than the provisional duty, the difference shall not be collected. If the definitive duty is lower than the provisional duty, the duty shall be recalculated. Where a final determination is negative, the provisional duty shall not be confirmed.

A definitive anti-dumping measure shall expire five years from its imposition.  An expiry review shall be initiated on the initiative of the Commission, or upon a request made by the industry, and the measure shall remain in force pending the outcome of that review.

Main timeline of the 2013 AD case

Warning: comparison is not reason. We provide here, indicatively, the timeline of the 2012-2013 AD case to show how it occurred at the time. A significantly different scenario could occur for the new case in 2024.

The first anti-dumping proceeding concerning biodiesel was initiated on August 29, 2012 about imports from Argentina and Indonesia. Shortly after, in September 2012, the industry requested the registration of the imports. This registration occurred only five months later, on January 28, 2013.

On May 27, 2013, just before the 9-month deadline (since then shortened to 8-month), the EC published preliminary measures imposing preliminary AD duties to biodiesel originating from Argentina and Indonesia. The Commission regulation stated that “no decision on the possible retroactive application of anti-dumping measures can be taken at this stage in the proceeding”. So, retroactivity was not applied to registered imports at this time.

On November 19, 2013, 14.5 months after the initiation of the proceeding, the Council implementing regulation 1194/2013 imposed definitive AD duties. The same regulation also ordered the final collection of all the provisional duties collected since May.