The European Union (EU) has a comprehensive legal framework on trade remedy to ensure fairness in international trade and protect the industries of its member states. These regulations are aimed at safeguarding the EU market from unfair practices by external countries.
The body responsible for trade remedy measures within the EU is the European Commission. This commission assesses and addresses violations, deciding on actions such as tariffs or import restrictions.
With a strong economy comprising 27 member countries and approximately 447 million citizens, the EU employs effective trade remedy policies, ensuring stable import and export activities both within and outside the bloc.
Trade Remedy Measures
- Customs Duties and Fees: The EU can impose specific customs duties or fees on imported goods from external countries if these goods are deemed harmful to EU industries or consumer interests.
- Import Restrictions: Import restrictions can be applied to specific products from countries engaged in unfair competition, limiting the quantity of imported goods or implementing strict quality management rules.
- Countervailing and Anti-dumping Measures: The EU has regulations against countries exporting goods at prices lower than their domestic market prices (dumping) or receiving subsidies from their governments for exporting goods.
EU’s Trade Remedy Measures
The EU’s trade remedy policies align with the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO). In addition to the WTO framework, the EU actively adjusts and establishes rules corresponding to the nature of the European market and its key trading partners.
EU’s flexibility in policies has created a fair competitive environment for EU industries, protecting them from the potential harm caused by unfairly priced imports or subsidized goods entering the market.
One of the main tools the EU employs to protect its domestic production market is investigating allegations of dumping against foreign manufacturers and exporters.
The European Commission usually initiates an investigation after receiving complaints from domestic EU manufacturers representing the relevant industry. Alternatively, the Commission can initiate investigations based on the actual market situation and the need for intervention to stabilize the market.
An investigation is typically completed within 9 months but can be extended to 11 months in certain cases. The decision on temporary measures is made by the European Commission after consulting the EU member states. Temporary anti-dumping measures are extended for 6 months, while official measures can have a validity for up to 5 years.
The duration of anti-dumping measures may be shortened or prolonged based on specific circumstances, primarily depending on changes in dumping practices and their impact on the domestic market.
The EU’s trade remedy measures include anti-dumping investigations, countervailing measures, safeguard measures, and anti-circumvention measures.
According to statistics from the World Trade Organization (WTO) until June 2022, the EU has conducted a total of 644 investigations and applied 408 trade remedy measures against imported goods.
Regarding Vietnam, the EU currently applies only safeguard measures on certain steel products. In 2022, the EU did not initiate new investigations or impose additional measures on Vietnamese exports.