The National Tariff Commission (NTC) Islamabad conducted a Public Hearing of Sunset Review application filed by the Domestic Industry on 18.05.2022 via Zoom pertaining to One-Side Coated Bleach Board/Folding Box Paperboard into Pakistan originating in/exported from China. The Sunset Review application is submitted by Century Papers Ltd and Bulleh Shah Packaging.
Barrister Junaid Ahmed being the authorised attorney of Importers i.e. (i). M/s. Khairullah Paper and Board Works Ltd and (ii) Pakistan Packages Pvt. Limited requested for the Public Hearing in accordance with Anti-Dumping Duties Act 2015 read with Anti-Dumping Duties Rules since the importers are one of the interested parties, and any interested party can make a request for a Public Hearing of Sunset Review application in order to assist the NTC and for the fairness of the proceedings.
It is important to highlight that NTC is an autonomous investigation authority of Government of Pakistan on trade and tariff matters and administers trade remedy laws against dumped and subsidized imports of goods hurting Pakistan’s domestic industry. In the Sunset Review Public Hearing , Barrister Junaid Ahmed on behalf of the Importers submitted the following points before the Panel:-
- “As per the RISI (Fastmarkets) data specifically on ‘One-Side Coated Bleach Board/Folding Box Paperboard’ (Investigated Product) there was no dumping during the period of investigation (POI) i.e. 1st October 2014 till 3oth September 2015, because the prices in China were in fact higher than the prices in Pakistan. The normal value was calculated wrongly in violation of mandatory provisions of Anti-Dumping Duties Act, 2015 . There is a prima facie evidence based on the reliable publications that there was no dumping on the investigated product in Pakistan;
- The reliability of the RISI (Fastmarkets) data can be gauged from the perspective that this Publication Data i.e. RISI (Fastmarkets), was also relied by the domestic industry themselves both in their (i) original application, and even in (ii) Sunset Review Application. However, the domestic industry manipulated the data as they may asked RISI (Fastmarkets) for various types of papers which are imported under the same HS code 4819.9200;
- The importers [through M/s. Khairullah Paper and Board Works Pvt Ltd] also provided the RISI (Fastmarkets) data to NTC via email on 23.06.2017 specifically on ‘One-Side Coated Bleach Board/Folding Box Paperboard’ before Final Determination Report. However, the RISI (Fastmarket) data was ignored by the NTC on the ground that since primary data is available hence the same cannot be considered. On the contrary, the primary data i.e. prices of the exporters, according to NTC’s own Final Determination Report at Pg.21 Para 31, was NOT reliable and NOT in accordance with the accounting standards hence NTC instead used the best information available as per Section 32 of Anti-Dumping Duties Act, 2015. Ironically, Section 32 Schedule which clearly laid down the mandatory procedure which need to be followed when an information is provided to NTC was not followed and the rules were violated. The Appeal against the Final Determination Report is also pending, and this important legal and factual issue is sub-juice before the Anti-Dumping Appellate Tribunal (Islamabad) in Appeal No. 277/2018;
- Nonetheless, considering the circumstances and in light of the Sunset Review, the importers again specifically requested RISI (Fastmarkets) in May 2022 to provide the data for the period of Review i.e. 1 Oct 2018 to Sep 2021 in relation to ‘One-Side Coated Bleach Board/Folding Box Paperboard’ and once the RISI (Fastmarkets) data is received, the importers/interested parties will share the same with NTC in Sunset-Review proceeding along with their written arguments in order to effectively assist the NTC, and further to substantiate that Domestic Industry is manipulating the Chinese/exporter prices at the detriment of the Pakistani economy and only to serve their own vested and financial interests;
- It is important to verify the data submitted by the Domestic Industry specifically in relation to One-Side Coated Bleach Board/Folding Box Paperboard’ (Investigated Product) directly from RISI (Fastmarkets) in order to protect the interest of all interested parties and to make the investigation as transparent as possible”