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Colombia questioned about anti-dumping rules against Dutch potato

Staff Writer |
The Netherlands has appealed to the European Commission (EC). They want the Commission to address the Colombian authorities about their anti-dumping regulations against the Dutch potato sector.

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The Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Sigrid Kaag, wrote this on behalf of the Minister of Agriculture, Nature, and Food Quality, Carola Schouten. This was in response to questions from the House of Representatives.

On 3 August 2017, the Colombian authority instigated an anti-dumping procedure against frozen potato products from the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium.

In an interim report released on 1 November last year, the Colombian authorities established that dumping is taking place but decided not to adopt provisional anti-dumping measures. The decision concerning definite anti-dumping regulations is expected in the second half of March 2108.

Based on infromation known to Minister Kaag, she shares the opinion of the Dutch potato processing companies. They are of the opinion that the current Columbian anti-dumping procedure has both substantive as well as procedural shortcomings.

Whether these flaws carry sufficient weight to invalidate any measures still to be taken can only be determined by the World Trade Organisation's (WTO) dispute settlement mechanism. This will also depend on the Colombian anti-dumping authority's final investigation report and their eventual recommendations.

Due to the EC's exclusive competency with regard to trade policy, only they can bring such a complaint to the WTO. An official WTO complaint can, then, only be made when definitive anti-dumping regulations apply. This is not yet the case in this instance.

The Netherlands had already approached the EC on 16 February this year, to consider this step seriously. This was on basis of current facts known to the Trade Policy Committee.

Following discussion in the Trade Policy Committee, the EC, along with the Netherlands and the other Member States concerned, once again made an appeal to the Colombian authorities against the regulations.

In addition to the ongoing Colombian anti-dumping procedure, these measures are currently also in place in other countries. In Brazil and South Africa, there are definitive anti-dumping regulations against frozen potato products from, among other countries, the Netherlands.

According to Minister Kaag, there is some degree of procedural carelessness in all these procedures.

There is also a measure of inattention to substantive evidence for the regulations by the anti-dumping authorities. The Netherlands has raised objections to all three processes.

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