Mar 09, Colombo: After a 17 year long pursuit, Sri Lanka has finally enacted two landmark pieces of legislation that significantly advances the country's standing in global trade, Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen said.
With this move, Sri Lanka also joins the league of WTO members who keenly look to offset possible adverse impacts on their domestic industries from trade liberalization processes.
Minister Bathiudeen in an earlier occasion has said that Sri Lankan industries appear to be worried about impacts of FTAs and dumping and assured that the government will not enter into such agreements without consulting local industries.
He said Department of Commerce under his Ministry was looking at new steps on anti-dumping and planning to present the draft Anti-Dumping Bill to the Parliament.
The Anti-Dumping & Countervailing Duties and Safeguard Measures were passed by the Sri Lankan Parliament on 07th March 2018.
The enactment of the two pieces of legislation is a milestone development and an initiative taken by the Department of Commerce to fulfil the considerable need felt by the trade and domestic industry to protect themselves against unfair trading practices and unforeseen surges of imports.
Nearly 76% of the present WTO membership has already introduced their domestic legislations at least in one area of contingent trade remedies (Anti-Dumping or Subsidies and Countervailing, or Safeguard Measures).
These two new Bills will empower the Director General of Commerce of the Department of Commerce to initiate investigations relating to unfair business practices under these legislative provisions of Trade Remedy law and effect additional duties, countervailing duties, safeguard action against imports which enter the country under unfair business practices. A high powered committee consisting of senior officials and ministers of relevant line Ministries would also be involved in the process.
Since 2001, Ministries relevant for international trade and commerce sectors have worked to draft bills on Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Duties and Safeguard Measures. The bills were presented to the Parliament in January 2006 for the first time after obtaining Cabinet approval.
The Business community pointed out the necessity to enact such legislation as a remedy to deal with, in particular unfair trade practices, such as dumping and subsidization by certain countries and safeguard the domestic industry from unforeseen surge of imports.
After much discussions and revisions the amended bills were published in the Government Gazette on 9th October 2017 and presented to the Parliament for necessary action. The Parliament passed the two new bills on Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Duties and Safeguard Measures on 07th March 2018.