What is the Trade Remedies Authority and what does it do? 

The Trade Remedies Authority exists to "defend the UK against unfair international trade practices."

Set up after Brexit, the Trade Remedies Authority (TRA) is responsible for investigating whether UK industries and businesses are being unduly affected by unfair trading practices. For example, they investigate the impact of dumping, countervailing or safeguard duties, and conduct other reviews relating to measures already in place. This role which was previously undertaken by the European Commission, is now undertaken by the TRA considering the impacts on UK businesses only.

For example, if dumped or subsidised goods are coming into the UK, this can be investigated by the TRA and, ultimately, could lead to a rise in customs duty for those goods which were being imported and negatively affecting a UK business. Also, even if there is an unforeseen surge of imports, which are seriously affecting our industry, there is potential for a TRA investigation and action to be recommended.

Equally, a business may feel that they cannot access much needed raw materials due to there being undue or excessive anti-dumping measures in place. Again, the TRA is there to investigate and, potentially, lead to a solution to help and support a business.


What do we mean by dumping the goods?

We don’t just mean that products have been brought to the UK and thrown onto the roadside.

Dumping takes place when goods are imported and sold at a price that is below their normal value in the country from where they were exported. To counter this, an anti-dumping measure may be needed which results in additional customs duty being payable on import, subsequently making it less financially beneficial to dump the products on the UK market.


What is a subsided good?

Putting it simply, a subsidised good is usually one that has received a financial benefit from a foreign authority (such as a government) which results in such a benefit that it can under-cut the UK industry and cause significant impact.


How does the process work?

Firstly, it is vital to realise that the first steps must be taken by a business or a UK industry representative. To get the ball rolling, an application must be made to the TRA.

On receipt of the application, the TRA assess the information and, if enough evidence is provided, will open an investigation.

The full investigation is thorough, with interviews, questionnaires, and potentially visits, being conducted along with the review of data. For example, the TRA may look at data from the last 5 years when conducting a safeguarding investigation, or one-year when it concerns dumping.

The result of any investigation is published either in a Provision Determination or a Statement of Essential Facts. This allows interested parties one final opportunity to comment on any necessary areas. Ultimately, the TRA’s conclusions are explained to the UK Secretary of State, who can then make an overall decision based on their recommendations.

From start to finish, the TRA explains that the whole process can take around one year to conclude.


Taking the first step

Importantly, the TRA can only act once a UK industry applies to them requesting an investigation is launched.

To make an application, you simply need to be a business operating in the UK.

However, don’t forget that the first step must be taken by a businesses and/or representatives of UK industry. So if you think that your business is being affected by competing goods being dumped on the UK market, and you think that action is required, then you will have to take the first step.


If you would like to find out more, or are considering completing an application, then contact the TRA's Pre-Application Office for a free conversation: contact@traderemedies.gov.uk

Alternatively, you may wish to have a look at the TRA-Practical Guide.


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