DTI recommends anti-dumping duties on Vietnam cement

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  • The Department of Trade and Industry is seeking anti-dumping duties on imported Vietnamese Portland cement type 1 and blended cement type 1P for five years
  • Department Administrative Order No. 22-17 says the duties are needed to thwart injury to the domestic cement industry
  • Cement manufacturers CEMEX Holdings Philippines (Solid Cement Corp. and APO Cement Corp.), Holcim Philippines Inc. and Republic Cement and Building Materials Inc allege the Philippines is being used as a dumping ground for Type 1 and Type 1P Portland cement from Vietnam

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is recommending the levy of anti-dumping duties on cement from Vietnam for five years due to “imminent” threat of “material injury” to the domestic cement industry posed by the cheap import.

The definitive anti-dumping duties will be imposed on imports of ordinary Portland cement type 1 (AHTN 2017/2022 Subheading No. 2523.29.90) and blended cement type 1P (AHTN 2017/2022 Subheading No. 2523.90.00) from Vietnam, according to Department Administrative Order No. 22-17 issued by DTI on December 16.

The recommendation follows findings by the Tariff Commission in its formal investigation “that the threat of material injury to the domestic cement industry is imminent in the near future from dumped imports from Vietnam”. The DTI also ordered that anti-dumping duties be imposed on imports of ordinary Portland cement type 1 and blended cement type 1P originating and exported from Vietnam for a period of five years.

The investigation stemmed from an application filed in April 2021 by cement manufacturers CEMEX Holdings Philippines (Solid Cement Corp. and APO Cement Corp.), Holcim Philippines Inc., and Republic Cement and Building Materials Inc.

The local cement manufacturers alleged the Philippines was being used as a dumping ground for Type 1 and Type 1P Portland cement from Vietnam, causing material injury to the domestic cement industry.

Acting under Republic Act (RA) 8752, or the Anti-Dumping Act of 1999, DTI said in April 2021 it reviewed the evidence provided by the local cement manufacturers and “determined the existence of sufficient evidence to justify the initiation of an investigation.”

DTI ordered the imposition of provisional anti-dumping duties for four months on cement imports from Vietnam as a temporary safeguard measure.

According to TC’s final report to the DTI on October 11 about its formal investigation from 2019 to December 2020, there were price differences in the normal values and export prices of Philippine ordinary Portland cement type1 and blended cement type 1P from those originating in Vietnam.

Moreover, TC said the volume of imports of the two cement types at dumped prices is not negligible, accounting for 53% of total Philippine cement imports from July 2019 to December 2020.

But during 2017-2021, TC noted the domestic cement industry was not materially injured by the dumped cement from Vietnam.

TC said the threat of material injury to the domestic industry is imminent as indicated by the significant rate of increase of dumped imports into the Philippines capturing substantial market share; presence of price undercutting, price depression and price suppression during the period of investigation (POI); the substantial available production capacities of Vietnam that can accommodate increasing exports to the Philippines, its top export market; and the openness of the Philippine cement market”.

Under DAO 22-17, the “All others’ rates” will be applied to foreign exporters who did not make themselves known to TC; did not cooperate sufficiently during the formal investigation; and new foreign exporters who did not export the subject articles to the Philippines during the POI and updated period.

However, for exporters or producers in Vietnam who have not exported type 1 and type 1P cement to the Philippines during 2017-2021, their individual margin of dumping may be determined following a review pursuant to RA 8752 and elaborated under Section 18 (g) of the IRR (New Shippers Review).

The review will be initiated and carried out on an accelerated basis, provided that such exporters or producers can show they are not related to any of the exporters or producers in Vietnam who are subject to anti-dumping duties on their aforementioned product.

Investigation on exporters determined to have a de minimis and/or negative dumping margins is terminated. With the termination, no anti-dumping duty, even at 0% rate, will be imposed on their exports of the cement types to the Philippines. The “All others’ rates” will likewise not be applied to them and are therefore excluded from the scope of DAO 22-17.

Accordingly, cash bonds deposited/paid by exporters pursuant to of Customs Memorandum Order No. 38-2021 will be returned immediately upon the effectivity of the DAO.

CMO 38-2021 implements DTI DAO No. 21-07, which mandates that provisional anti-dumping duties in the form of a cash bond be imposed for four months on importations of ordinary Portland cement Type 1 and blended Type 1P cement originating in Vietnam.

With respect to the cash bond deposited/paid by Nam Phuong Imex Import and Export JSC and those deposited/paid by exporters under the “All others’ rate” as provisional anti-dumping duty under CMO No. 38-2021 in excess of the anti-dumping duty assessed, the remainder will likewise be returned immediately upon the effectivity of DAO 22-17.

The DAO will take effect when the period to file a motion for reconsideration lapses in case no such motion has been filed, or upon a negative resolution of the motion in case one is filed. BOC should then issue the implementing CMO after the lapse of the period. – Roumina Pablo