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Brazil Takes Poultry Anti-Dumping Dispute To WTO

by Mike Godfrey, Tax-News.com, Washington

02 July 2012


The World Trade Organization (WTO) has acknowledged a request from the Brazilian government to commence consultations with South Africa regarding the latter nation's anti-dumping duties applicable on Brazilian poultry meat.

Under international trade rules, nations may impose duties on imported goods that have been 'dumped' on the world market at below cost price. In its filing however, Brazil has claimed that South Africa erroneously calculated the margins involved in establishing anti-dumping duties on Brazilian poultry meat exports. Furthermore, the Brazilian government has argued that South Africa failed to include sufficient evidence of dumping and injury to South African businesses to legitimize the duties.

South Africa currently imposes anti-dumping duties as high as 62.93% on whole chicken imports from Brazil, and duties as high as 46.59% on boneless chicken cuts. This is in addition to the nation's regular tariffs on the goods, of 5% and 27%, respectively.

The decision to seek WTO-mediated talks has been welcomed by the Brazilian Union of Agriculture (UBABEF), which previously lobbied for government action. The Union argued that South African authorities failed to take into account taxes levied on domestic goods in Brazil when comparing the market price in Brazil with that in South Africa. In addition, UBABEF said South African authorities used incomplete data when assessing the market impact of imports from Brazil. Lastly, the Union noted that the sale price of Brazilian chicken cannot be accurately compared to the price of South African poultry products, as domestic produce is generally sold as a 'high quality' product to more wealthy individuals than imported meat.

UBABEF said the industry was set to suffer losses of USD70bn a year as a result of the duties. According to the Union, 16% of the poultry meat consumed in South Africa is imported, with 70% of this demand being met by Brazilian exporters.

TAGS: South Africa | tax | law | tariffs | anti-dumping | World Trade Organisation (WTO) | food | trade disputes | Brazil | import duty | trade | Africa

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