New rules against unfair trade practices

On the 4th of December, the Council approved new rules to help protect the EU against unfair trade practices. They will enter into force by 20 December.

This new anti-dumping methodology will identify and redress cases where prices of imported products are artificially lowered due to state intervention. “Today we are delivering on own of our presidency’s priorities: strengthening our anti-dumping toolkit to provide a fair trade environment for EU producers. The new rules will be crucial in ensuring that all our trading partners are selling us their products at undistorted prices, and that fair market competition is respected.”” Urve Palo, Estonian minister for trade.

The new legal framework removes the former distinction between market and non-market economies for calculating dumping while maintaining the same level of protection for producers. The Commission will now need to prove the existence of a “significant market distortion” between a product’s sale price and its production cost. On that basis, it will be allowed to set a price for the product by referring for example to the price of the good in a country with a similar level of economic development or to relevant undistorted international costs and prices.

The Commission will also draft specific reports on countries or sectors describing distortions. In line with current practice, it will be for EU firms to file complaints, but they will be able to use the Commission’s reports to support their case.


Next steps

The text adopted on 15 November by the European Parliament and on 4 December by the Council will be signed in Strasbourg on 13 December. The publication in the Official Journal of the regulation is expected on 19 December. It will enter into force one day later.



The Commission proposed targeted amendments to the anti-dumping methodology in November 2016. This specific adaptation to the regulation on trade defence instruments – which is also in the process of being reviewed – is formulated in a country-neutral way and in full compliance with the EU’s WTO obligations.


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