July 13 2015

This article is the second of a series of articles written about anti-dumping and countervailing duties in Canada. In the previous article, we gave an introduction to dumping and subsidizing.

How does the complaint process work?

The Canadian International Trade Tribunal (the “CITT”) is a Canadian tribunal located in Canada’s capital, Ottawa. The CITT decides if the dumping and subsidizing of your products is causing injury to the Canadian industry.

If the CITT decides that there is injury or threat of injury to the Canadian industry, then the Canada Border Services Agency (the “CBSA”) will have the authority to impose anti-dumping or countervailing duties on dumped or subsidized imports.

The Written Complaint

The first step for a Canadian producer, or association of Canadian Producers, is to file a written complaint to the CBSA. The written complaint must include the following:

    • Information on Canadian produced goods
    • Competing imports
    • Current domestic industry
    • Canadian market conditions
    • Evidence of dumping or subsidizing and resulting injury to the Canadian industry

The CBSA’s investigation

After a written complaint is filed, the CBSA may start a formal investigation to determine whether the goods imported are dumped or subsidized. The CBSA must make sure that there is enough support by the Canadian industry by:

    • Making sure at least 25% of producers support the complaint;
    • There is more producer support than producer opposition to the complaint in Canada

If the CBSA decides that there needs to be an investigation, questionnaires are sent out to all exporters, importers and foreign governments (for subsidy investigations only). These questionnaires gather critical information that will allow the CBSA to decide if there is dumping or subsidizing. Sometimes, the CBSA will meet directly with the parties to verify the information provided.

There is a preliminary decision made before the verification meetings, and a final decision of the CBSA made after the verification meetings.

I have attended several of these “verification meetings”, and they have taken place all over the world, including New Delhi, India and Chicago, USA.

The CITT hearing

If the CBSA decides to start an investigation, a copy is also sent to the CITT. If the CBSA determines that there is dumping or subsidizing, this doesn’t result in an automatic tariff. It is the role and responsibility of the CITT to decide whether or not the dumping or subsidizing, if proven, have caused or are threatening to cause injury to the domestic industry.

At the final stage, the CITT will hold public hearings so all parties, including the Canadian domestic industry, importers, distributors, foreign manufacturers, and government representatives will have a chance to make their case and cross-examine each other.

In Part III, we will explain how and when anti-dumping duties and countervailing duties are made mandatory.


This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you wish to seek legal advice, contact us today.  613-747-2459