Forums of Implementation of Anti-dumping Duties Ordinance
The National Tariff Commission
The foremost body responsible for the implementation of the Trade Remedy Laws in Pakistan is the National Tariff Commission (Commission), which was set up under the National Tariff Commission Act of 1990. However, separate sets of legislations were introduced which assigned the roles of implementation of trade remedy laws, including the Anti-Dumping Duties Ordinance, 2000, the Countervailing Duties Ordinance 2001, the Safeguard Measures Ordinance 2002.
The Commission is a statutory public body which performs its role in quasi-judicial capacity, however the investigative capacity of all three aspects i.e. the Injury determination, the Dumping Determination and the Determination of Causal Link makes it the most important forum for the trade remedy laws in Pakistan.
The Commission is headed by a body of three persons who are not employees of the Commission, rather they are the government servants, who are appointed by the Federal Government for a term of three years. The determinations of the Commission have to be made by three members of the Commission; the absence of even one member renders the Commission “coram non-judice”
The Commission has to perform the role of regulator of trade with the help of stake holders who decide to co-operate with the Commission in its investigations. However, the historic trend shows mixed results in terms of co-operating exporters from foreign countries. Exporters from the People’s Republic of China have been active participant in the investigations by the Commission.
The Registry section of the Commission receives the applications by the domestic industry and scrutinise the applications for the purpose of placing them before the Commission for appropriate action. If the Commission decides to proceed with the investigation, it assigns the case to one of its directorate of investigation. The Commission issues preliminary determination within 6 months of the date of the initiation of investigation. The final determination is also usually made within 6 months from the date of preliminary determination.
Whether the Commission Serves as Forum for Negotiations amongst the Parties
The answer is no! since this is how the Ordinance has been framed, which does not provide for any informal negotiating or mediating procedure.
2. Appellate Tribunal
The significance of Anti-dumping Appellate Tribunal can not be overstated, since this is the only appellate forum provided under the Anti-Dumping Duties Ordinance, 2000. Under section 64 of the Ordinance, the parties can approach the tribunal against the determination of the Commission.
The tribunal was only set up by the Federal Government, in the 2009 and since then, 38 appeals in different investigations have been filed.
The appellate tribunal has jurisdiction to entertain appeals from the final determination.
3. High Court
Before the federal government set up the appellate tribunal, the High courts of the country were main forum for the parties to o contest their legal rights. The trend is shifting, with the formation of the appellate tribunal but the Writ jurisdiction of the High courts of the country can not be taken out of the equation. The courts in Pakistan have assumed jurisdiction when either the initiation of investigation or the preliminary determination have been called in question.
The high courts of the country have judges who have background in the area of trade remedy laws, therefore, the jurisprudence is growing which brings clarity to the working of the Commission.
The high courts also entertain the applications for the interim relief, which means various different things at different stages of the investigation and at upon the kind of interim relief sought.
4. Supreme Court of Pakistan
The Supreme Court of Pakistan is the highest forum for the administration of any law in Pakistan, including the Ordinance. Supreme court is the final appellate authority and parties have approached Supreme court in many cases. The Supreme court has delivered landmark judgments in these cases especially the decision of the Commission in the investigation against the import of Tiles from China.