Food industry welcomes preliminary findings on dumped imports


An investigation being conducted by the Anti-Dumping Commission has released preliminary findings which have determined that Italian preserved tomatoes are being dumped in Australia.

Image credit: Flickr user Ajith_chatie
Image credit: Flickr user Ajith_chatie

The findings have prompted the Commission to declare that there are sufficient grounds for the publication of a dumping duty notice in respect of the goods imported from Italy, according to a statement.

The Anti-Dumping Commission is also certain that the dumped goods appear to have caused material injury to the Australian industry producing similar goods.

Extra duties of between six and ten per cent will now apply on offending Italian tomato imports until at least the beginning of next year, according to a report from ABC News.

The preliminary report is an early victory for local food processor SPC Ardmona which instigated the inquiry with the Anti-Dumping Commission after it was forced to heavily discount its processed tomatoes in order to compete with the cheap imports.

The Anti-Dumping Commission is expected to submit its final report on the matter to Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane on or before January 30, 2014. Mr. Macfarlane will then decide whether to publish a dumping duty notice and, if relevant, the level of measures to be imposed.

SPC Ardmona Managing Director Peter Kelly welcomed the ruling and called it great news for fruit and vegetable manufacturers.

“It just makes me a bit sad that, that damage has been done for so long,” Mr. Kelly said in the ABC report.

“This proves that people have been cheating the system and trading unfairly and that what we’ve been saying all along so I am happy that’s come through.”

The Australian Made Campaign has welcomed the initial results of the inquiry and recommends that additional tariffs be imposed on the imported processed tomatoes which have been found to be dumped.

“We look forward to the final report validating these findings, but the fact remains, there is damage being done to the local industry, and Australia’s growers, every day until these safeguards are put in place,” Australian Made Chief Executive, Ian Harrison, said in a media release.

“Australia needs to be vigilant about the damage that can be done to Australian processors, and in turn Australian growers, given the time it takes to assess such claims.”

Harrison says the burden of proof should be shifted from the claimant to the importer to prove that what is being sold has not been dumped, if such a claim has already been accepted by the Anti-Dumping Commission.