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EU Silicon Carbide Industry Appeals against European Commission Decision

The EU Silicon Carbide (SiC) industry has decided go to court after the European Commission refused to initiate an expiry review of the anti-dumping measures against SiC imports from China.

The EU SiC industry believes that the Commission’s Directorate-General (DG) for Trade acted contrary to EU law. Despite the EU SiC industry having proved a strong likelihood of recurrence of dumping and injury in case the measures were allowed to lapse, DG Trade denied the industry’s request for a review. The EU SiC industry was supported by customers, various EU member states and the Commission’s DG for Enterprise. The support of customers is based on their fear of becoming 100 % reliant on Chinese SiC in case the EU SiC industry might disappear. There are some serious examples which at least lead to high prices or even worse, no availability of raw materials at all for the European industry. The EU SiC industry believes that the likelihood test for initiation of an expiry review as applied by DG Trade in the present case was much stricter than in other similar cases, and that there is no legal justification for this.  DG Trade refers to the relative age of the measures and the currently low EU market share of Chinese imports, but neither of these factors is legally valid and neither has anything to do with the strong likelihood of recurrence of injurious dumping given the massive production overcapacity in China. Trade lawyers comment that there are ways of monitoring import statistics on SiC from China on a weekly basis that may allow for the expeditious submission of a complaint for initiation of a new anti-dumping proceeding the moment large shipments at low prices suggest dumping and injury are occurring.  WTO and EU law provide for a possibility to initiate a new proceeding and introduce anti-dumping measures on the basis of threat of injury as opposed to actual material injury.  Also, it is important to keep in mind that once a new case will have been initiated, provisional measures may be imposed in as early as 60 days. In addition, registration of imports is possible which would allow for provisional measures to be applied retroactively for up to 90 days before the imposition of provisional measures (8/2011).

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