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Anti-Dumping Duties on Soda Ash Under Review

April 26, 2019

Department of Economic Development

26 April 2019

A sunset review of the anti-dumping duties on disodium carbonate (soda ash) has been initiated.

The economic development department announced this in Government Gazette 42417.

The review, to be conducted by the International Trade Administration Commission, follows from a request by the Botswana government on behalf of Botswana Ash (Pty) Ltd and supported by Sappi Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd.

Botswana Ash alleges that the discontinuation of duties on soda ash would likely lead to the continuation or recurrence of dumping and the recurrence of material injury.

Material injury that would occur includes decline in sales, price undercutting, price depression, price suppression, capacity utilisation, profit, output, return on investment, employment, and growth.

Responses to a questionnaire must be received within 30 days of the date of publication.

Meanwhile, in Notice 239, the department announced that ITAC has received an application from Safripol to increase the rate of customs duty on polyethylene terephthalate (PET) from 10% ad valorem to 15% ad valorem.

Reasons for the application include that imports of PET have flooded the SACU market at very low prices, the flood of low-priced imports has resulted in a decline in Safripol’s sales volumes and market share and the low-priced imports have resulted in Safripol not achieving returns on investments.

Representation is invited within four weeks of the date of publication.

In Notice 601, the department published a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Competition Commission (CC) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

The MOU sets out the possible steps that could lead to the negotiation and execution of an Advisory Agreement between the CC and IFC in respect of cooperating in the development of additional technical expertise to enhance the policy underpinnings, the reach, the impact and the transparency of competition policy and market regulation in order to cultivate an inclusive economy in South Africa.

In a separate matter, the CC has announced the drawing up of a provisional report on the Data Services Market Inquiry, launched in August 2017.

According to the CC Commissioner, Tembinkosi Bonakele, more than 30 written submissions were received.

The provisional report sets out the CC’s preliminary findings and recommendations based on its analysis of the market and submissions.

Findings include that, based on international benchmarking, South African data prices are high, particularly for mobile prepaid data; the retail pricing structure of mobile data is anti-poor and lacks transparency; a lack of spectrum and cost-based facilities access drives up costs and price-based competition in mobile markets can be improved materially.

The provisional report is not yet available. It will be published for comment soon.

The media statement can be viewed at http://www.compcom.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/DMI-Opening-Remarks-Final-24042019-final.pdf.