A guide by Sarah Hurst, Castle Knight Services Ltd

Trade remedies, also known as trade defence, refers to measures taken to mitigate the effects of dumped or subsidised imports that threaten domestic producers. The measures are usually in the form of duties (tariffs), but may also include quotas that set limits on the quantity of the product that can be imported before the additional duties apply. Currently the European Commission is responsible for trade defence for the EU, including the UK, but after Brexit the Department for International Trade will take over.

Before announcing a trade remedies measure there must be an investigation conducted in accordance with WTO rules and national legislation. These investigations usually take about a year, and involve government officials analysing transactions and visiting domestic and foreign manufacturers. Domestic companies must provide evidence that they have been injured by the dumped or subsidised imports.

No deal

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the government plans to “transition” about 43 of the EU’s existing measures. UK companies could also request new anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations. The UK will conduct transition reviews of the EU measures – which are full-scale investigations – to make them appropriate for the UK market. Companies involved in the transition reviews or new cases will need to answer lengthy questionnaires and possibly host verification visits by investigators. Assertions made during investigations are likely to be legally challenged by the targeted country.


Under Theresa May’s plan for an implementation period, during that time the EU would still be responsible for the UK’s trade defence. The UK government still intends to conduct the transition reviews of the 43 EU measures, but if these were to be completed during the implementation period, the UK could not apply different duties until we gained our own “independent trade policy” by entering a new relationship with the EU. UK companies would need to be involved in the transition reviews, but could not request new cases. They would still have to go to the EU to request new cases.

What can you do?

Learn more about how to participate in trade remedies cases with the UK and the EU by booking one of our training courses. Email me at sarahnhurst@gmail.com or call me on 07766 294 170 for more information. We explain how trade remedies cases work, what is required of participating companies, and what issues have arisen in past cases relating to your sector.

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