21 December 2009 06:30 [Source: ICIS news]
(Recasts fourth paragraph)
By Malini Hariharan
MUMBAI (ICIS news)--Southeast Asian petrochemical producers have limited legal options to defer or block the implementation of a zero-tariff regime that will take effect next year, a trade lawyer said on Monday.
Indonesian polyolefin producers were actively pushing for a postponement of the new trade policy, fearing competitive imports from ?xml:namespace>
Six of the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will implement the zero-tariff next year, including Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines.
But it would be difficult for
“It is pretty much impossible,” he said.
Polymer producers in the
FTA terms allow suspension of tariff concessions by a country only “if it can be determined that increased imports have caused injury or economic damage to local companies,” said Sim.
“But in the history of FTAs this has very rarely been implemented. And even if this is put in place it would be a temporary measure – say for a period of 3-5 years,” he added.
Seeking antidumping actions from their respective governments is a second option available to petrochemical players wary of the new trade regime.
“If the industry is worried about a flood of imports they can go in for this option by proving that pricing was unfair and that the local industry suffered material injury. This type of action is possible and can be extended for an indefinite period,” Sim said.
This route, however, entails high legal fees and would take a while to enforce. Companies also have to wait for a few months before they can initiate action.
“You have to build a record. You cannot say on 2nd January that there is dumping. You need time to build the case; usually 6-8 months is enough to get data to make a claim,” he added.
“The simple option [of raising import duties] ended when the FTA was signed. Now they have the safeguard option, which is untested, or antidumping, he added.
Meanwhile, the Indonesian media has reported that the country was seeking to delay the implementation of the ASEAN-China FTA that would likewise come into force on 1 January 2010.
There is a provision in the ASEAN-China FTA for a temporary delay in tariff reduction by reclassifying goods as ‘sensitive’ and ‘highly sensitive’ products. The duty elimination could then be delayed to 1 January 2015.
But the problem for
It was also uncertain whether
“Either way, for
Read John Richardson and Malini Hariharan's Asian Chemical Connections blog
To discuss issues facing the chemical industry go to ICIS connect
For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.
Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.
|ICIS news FREE TRIAL|
|Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index|