International Trade: Call to all UK businesses currently benefitting from EU trade remedies

As part of the Government’s preparation for the UK’s future independent trade policy post-Brexit, the Department for International Trade (DIT) has released a Call for Evidence to UK businesses that produce or use products affected by European Union (EU) trade remedies.

EU trade remedies include ‘anti-dumping duties’ and ‘anti-subsidy’ measures. The EU currently has more than 100 of these measures in place on products imported from 25 different non-EU countries, including China, India, Indonesia, Russia and the United States. A list of existing EU trade remedy measures, the products they apply to and the countries they are imposed against can be found here.

The Government is preparing a new ‘Independent Trade Remedy Framework' (ITRF) for the UK that will be compatible with World Trade Organisation (WTO) standards and requirements. This ITRF will be implemented by a new UK trade body post-Brexit (the ‘Trade Remedy Investigating Authority' or TRIA). Once established, TRIA will be empowered to propose new UK trade measures, review existing measures and conduct new trade remedy investigations.

In order to provide certainty to business and ensure continuity, the Government commits to maintaining existing EU trade measures which matter to UK businesses, and which meet set criteria (including WTO requirements on the level of support from domestic producers).

The DIT consultation aims to identify:

  • Which UK businesses produce goods that are currently subject to EU anti-dumping or anti-subsidy measures, or that are involved in an on-going EU trade investigation
  • Which of the EU’s existing trade remedies matter to UK businesses

For an existing EU trade remedy to be maintained by the UK, interested parties should respond to a number of mandatory (and optional) questions and make a formal Application to Maintain Measures in respect of an existing EU trade remedy (using Annex A to the Call for Evidence).

The mandatory questions ask UK businesses, for example, to state whether they support, oppose or are neutral about maintaining the measures which directly affect them when the UK begins to operate its new ITRF. The questions also seek data about businesses’ production and sales, and total UK production and sales, to enable the DIT to assess whether the applications meet the set criteria and whether the EU trade measures can be maintained.

The DIT sets three criteria that must be met for an existing EU trade remedy to be maintained:

  1. The Government must have received a formal application from UK businesses which produce products subject to EU trade remedies
  2. The application must be supported by a sufficient proportion of the UK businesses which produce those products
  3. The market share of the UK businesses which produce those products must be above a certain level

The consultation paper is clear that, in the absence of an Application to Maintain Measures, or if the relevant criteria are not met, EU trade remedies will cease to apply once the UK begins to operate its new ITRF.

The deadline for responding to the Call for Evidence (including formal applications to maintain existing EU trade remedies and submissions of evidence) is 12pm on Friday 30 March 2018.

Please contact Andrew Maxwell if you have any queries about the consultation or would like to submit a response.


The content of this page is a summary of the law in force at the date of publication and is not exhaustive, nor does it contain definitive advice. Specialist legal advice should be sought in relation to any queries that may arise.