Special duty on cable imports to Ukraine cancelled
Complainee: The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine (CMU), Interdepartmental Commission on International Trade of the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine (Commission)
Complaint in brief: The Business Ombudsman Council received a complaint from a cable importer and distributor. The company disagreed with the decision of the Interdepartmental Commission on International Trade to introduce a special duty of 23.5% (with further reduction) for a period of three years on cable products imports to Ukraine. The Commission decided to impose a special duty by referring to an unpredictable sudden and sharp increase in imports, and, as a result, significant damage caused to producers, as well as imbalance in favor of foreign cable suppliers to Ukraine. The Commission's decision states the increase in imports of this product to Ukraine was due to unforeseen circumstances such as industrial growth, increased leftover inventory and exports from China, adding to trade tensions between China and the United States, renewable energy industry development and 4G introduction. The decision of the Commission provided that a special duty would not apply to imports to Ukraine of goods originating from 62 countries. The list of exceptions, however, did not include countries where the complainant himself produced cables (some EU countries and the United Kingdom).
It is noteworthy that, according to statistics, the volume of cable imports from the EU to Ukraine in 2020 decreased compared to the previous year, and exports to the EU, increased instead. These statistics suggest that imports of this product from the EU do not threaten a domestic producer. In view of violation of its legitimate interests, the company turned to the RBO for assistance.
Actions taken: The Investigator carefully examined the case file and found the complaint substantiated. The Council recommended that the Commission study the materials provided by the complainant and review introduction of a special duty, particularly as regards the exempt countries list. In addition, the Deputy Business Ombudsman reported on the issue raised in the complaint to Taras Kachka, a Trade Representative of Ukraine, Deputy Minister of Economy of Ukraine
Result achieved: The Commission overturned the decision to impose a special cable duty. The case was successfully closed. Disagreeing with the special duty cancellation, one of the national producers challenged it in court. Therefore, the final fate of the special duty will be decided by a Ukrainian court.