The Court of Justice of the European Union has held the Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No. 260/2013 invalid. The Regulation had extended the definitive anti-dumping duty imposed by Regulation (EC) No. 1458/2007 on imports of gas-fuelled, non-refillable pocket flint lighters originating in the People’s Republic of China to imports of such products consigned from Vietnam.
Relevance of time gap in circumvention
The disputed Regulation stated that the volume of imports of the product concerned from the PRC to the EU was weak during 2007 when volume of imports of the product from Vietnam to the EU increased and that exports of lighter parts from the PRC to Vietnam increased from 1999, and hence it constituted a change in the pattern of trade between the PRC and Vietnam, on the one hand, and the EU, on the other. The Court of Justice was however of the view that it cannot validly be concluded that there was a link between increase in exports of lighter parts from the PRC to Vietnam and the increase of imports of the product concerned to the EU from Vietnam. The referring Court in this regard had also observed that though there is no provision for time-related requirements concerning the change in the pattern of trade, nevertheless there was a gap in time between the fall in imports of the product concerned from the PRC during 1991, the increase in exports of lighter parts from the PRC to Vietnam, beginning in 1999, and the increase in imports to the EU of the product concerned from Vietnam during 2007.
Regulation extending AD measures to circumventing imports may be adopted even after expiry of original measures
The CJEU, by its order dated 17-12-2015, however rejected the contention of the importer that the contested regulation is invalid because it was adopted at a time when the original Regulation No 1458/2007 (imposing anti-dumping duty on imports from China) was no longer in force. It was held that Regulation extending anti-dumping measures to the circumventing imports may be adopted even after the original measures have expired, if the extended measures have exclusively retroactive effect.