The Conduct of “Price Undertakings” and “Interim Reviews” in the Anti-Dumping Regime of South Africa [Discussion of Casar Drahtseilwerk Saar GMBH V International Trade Administration Commission (66248/2014) 2020 ZAGPPHC 141 (14 February 2020)]
Author: Clive Vinti
Affiliations: LLB (cum laude) LLM PhD, Senior Lecturer, Department of Public Law, University of the Free State
Source: Stellenbosch Law Review, Volume 33 Issue 3, 2022, p. 560 – 578
The administration of anti-dumping investigations is the sole mandate of the International Trade Administration Commission (“ITAC”). This investigation has two stages, the preliminary and final investigation stages, which are accompanied by investigation reports at each stage. The investigation can be terminated or suspended after the preliminary investigation if the offending exporter ceases exports to the Southern African Customs Union (“SACU”) at the dumped prices or revises its prices such that ITAC is satisfied that injurious dumping has been eliminated. Twelve months after the publication of the final determination in the original investigation or the previous review, interested parties can request an interim review of the duty if there are significantly changed circumstances. It is these two aspects of dumping investigations that were the subject of litigation for the first time in South African law in Casar Drahtseilwerk Saar GMBH v International Trade Administration Commission (66248/2014) 2020 ZAGPPHC 141 (14 February 2020). This note assesses the novel approach employed by the court in readily construing these aspects of the anti-dumping investigation in South Africa in accordance with the jurisprudence on the Anti-Dumping Agreement. This approach is commendable in light of the ambivalent attitude of South African courts towards the country’s obligations in terms of the multilateral agreements of the World Trade Organization, despite the promulgation of local legislation to comply with these obligations and the constitutional injunction to prefer any reasonable interpretation of the legislation that is consistent with international law over any alternative interpretation that is inconsistent with international law.