Although the majority of member states opposed the proposal by the European Commission (EC) to impose provisional anti-dumping duties on ceramic tableware and kitchenware originating in China, the decision has been made to increase them by 58.8% for most companies.
Because The Giftware Association warned of their possible imposition – holding meetings and sending e-mails – it is estimated to have saved its members tens of thousands of pounds. The GA had suggested to suppliers that, among other things, they should consider bringing in product from China as soon as possible to beat the rise or source it elsewhere.
Simon Winder, of Padgett Brothers, importer and wholesale distributor of toys and nursery goods, told The GA: “We would estimate to have saved approximately £10,000 due to your emails on this subject.”
The anti-dumping duties were introduced on November 15 for a period of six months, and although Isabel Martinson, The Giftware Association’s chief executive, was made aware of this by various sources, she did not receive the formal notification from the commission – in a letter – until a week later.
According to Isabel, this invited comments to reach the commission by December 17, as well as details of how The GA could apply for a hearing within 10 calendar days of receipt of the disclosure documentation. Furthermore, the EC’s letter encouraged The GA’s retailer members to request a questionnaire by no later than November 23 – the day after Isabel heard from the EC!
As soon as Isabel received the letter, she contacted the commission – first by phone and then by e-mail – to tell them: “Even though I have been in e-mail correspondence with you since March 2012 I am surprised and concerned not to have received this information electronically … I am particularly staggered at the incredibly short deadlines being imposed and therefore I have a number of requests.
“First of all, on behalf of The Giftware Association’s retailer members, I request immediately and electronically, a copy of the questionnaire intended for retailers so that I can pass it on to members to complete
“I further request an extension to the deadline for retailers to return completed questionnaires to the European Commission – you suggested [in a subsequent phone call] by a week but I think we will need longer than that to get it out to members and give them time to gather their figures and evidence and return it to the EC, so I would ask for a deadline of at least 14 December 2012.
“Secondly, I request a hearing with the Hearing Officer of DG Trade [and] thirdly I request an extension to the deadline to submit comments to the EC to at least Friday 21 Dec 12. I would be grateful for an acknowledgement of receipt of this e-mail along with the electronic version of the questionnaire for retailers.”