MUSCAT: The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion has clarified that the fees imposed for aluminum coil products in the United States are anti-dumping duties and not additional customs duties.
This clarification came after messages went viral on social media regarding the United States imposing new duties on aluminum coil products. US authorities led by the Department of Commerce began an anti-dumping investigation against imports of aluminum from 18 countries, including Oman, in March 2020. This is in accordance with the procedures of the World Trade Organization agreement. The probe would continue for 12 months and can be extended up to 18 months so that all aspects of the issue are probed.
The outcome of the probe will be issued in two phases: the first phase includes the preliminary investigation results, while the second phase covers the final investigation results. It is expected in April 2021.
US authorities announced the results of the preliminary investigation, which included imposing customs (anti-dumping) duties in the form of cash deposits. This is in accordance with the margin of dumping which was proven against the concerned parties during the investigation. With regard to the Sultanate’s exports, the preliminary investigation proved the dumping margin of 3.53 percent on Omani aluminum coil sales in the American markets. The deposits will be made accordingly if confirmed in the final report.
This is not the first-time anti-dumping duties are imposed against the Sultanate’s exports. Previously anti-dumping duties were imposed on some other products in other countries. These policies adopted by countries are a legitimate right in accordance with their internal legislation and under the World Trade Organization agreements. Dumping, subsidy, and an increase in imports are considered harmful practices in international trade.
The Sultanate has also imposed anti-dumping duties against a number of foreign products in accordance with the unified law of the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council. It has also imposed countervailing and preventive measures under the Royal Decree 20/2015 on car batteries against South Korea and ceramic and porcelain tiles against China and India.