Investigation into the alleged dumping of tyres originating in or imported from China: Final determination

28 Jul 2023

The International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa (“the Commission”), gazetted a notice of the initiation of an investigation into the alleged dumping of new pneumatic tyres of rubber of a kind used in motor cars and on buses and lorries, on 31 January 2022 originating in or imported from the People’s Republic of China. The application was lodged by the South African Tyres Manufacturers Conference (“SATMC”), representing its members, Bridgestone, Continental, Goodyear and Sumitomo. These firms together constitute 100% of domestic production of the subject product in the Southern African Customs Union (“SACU”).

The investigation was initiated after the Commission considered that there was prima facie evidence that the subject products were being imported into the SACU at dumped prices, causing material injury and threatening to cause material injury to the SACU industry. Following consideration of the responses and comments received from interested parties, the Commission made a preliminary determination, informed by Regulation 33.2 of South Africa’s Anti-Dumping Regulations. This provision empowers the Commission to request the Commissioner for SARS to impose provisional duties, to prevent further injury to the SACU.

The Commission requested the Commissioner of SARS to impose provisional payments for a period of six months, protecting the domestic industry, while an investigation was being finalized. SARS imposed the provisional duties in line with Section 57 of the Customs and Excise Act.

Provisional measures were imposed from 09 September 2022 until 08 March 2023. The provisional measures expired on 08 March 2023. As the investigation was not finalized, importers of the subject products were eligible for a refund of any duties paid to SARS after following due processes.

Essential facts letters were issued to all interested parties which contained the proposed final determination and proposed duties. Comments and submissions were received in response to these essential facts letters, which were duly considered by the Commission. The Commission having considering all comments, submissions and oral hearings made a final determination and recommendation to the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition (“the Minister”).

The Minister has approved the Commission’s recommendation. In approving the recommendation, the Minister indicated that he is concerned about the possible price raising- effect, especially in the current circumstances of high inflation and price pressures on South African consumers and firms.

The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition is therefore in discussions with tyre manufacturers in South Africa on the moderation and restraint of price growth beyond the path of producer prices. The tyre manufacturers have agreed to price restraint but the commitments by individual companies are in the process of being finalized.

Furthermore, the Competition Commission has been requested by the Minister to closely monitor the prices of tyres. The Minister further indicated that if the undertakings on price restraint by the tyre manufacturing companies are not honoured, resulting in undue price increases on tyres, he will request the Minister of Finance to suspend the anti-dumping duties for a period of time.

Please click on the link below for full details of Report No. 714.

Report No. 714