On February 24, 2022 the Canada Border Services Agency (the "CBSA") issued a Notice of Initiation of Investigation under the Special Import Measures Act ("SIMA") of alleged dumping and subsidizing of Mattresses originating in or exported from China. This investigation was prompted by a complaint filed by Restwell Mattress Co. Ltd. And the United Steelworkers of Canada.
The Subject Goods under investigation are currently defined as: Mattresses, mattress toppers, and mattresses for use and incorporation into furniture regardless of size and core type, originating in or exported from the People's Republic of China, whether imported independently or in a set with a mattress foundation, mattress topper, or both.
The following are excluded from the investigation:
- pet mattresses;
- mattresses which are incorporated into furniture and which are subject to the Canadian International Trade Tribunal's Finding in NQ‑2021‑002 [Upholstered Domestic Seating];
- mattress foundations;
- tufted futon mattresses which do not include innersprings or foam;
- camping mattresses;
- stretcher or gurney mattresses;
- custom mattresses for boats, RVs, or other vehicles;
- water beds; and
- mattress toppers less than three inches in thickness.
Additional information on the current investigation will be available by March 11, 2022 when CBSA publishes its Statement of Reasons.
If anti-dumping/countervailing duties are imposed, it will effectively increase costs of the Subject Goods to consumers in Canada.
What are the next steps?
Under SIMA, the matter will proceed along two parallel tracks: (1) the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (the "CITT") has 60 days to make a preliminary determination as to whether the domestic industry has been injured by the alleged dumping; and (2) the CBSA has 90 days to make a preliminary determination as to whether the goods are being dumped/subsidized (and to determine provisional anti-dumping duties).
While this timeline may be extended by 45 days for complex cases, at this point the CITT's preliminary determination is expected by April 25, 2022, and CBSA's preliminary determination by May 25, 2022, followed by a Statement of Reasons 15 days later.
In order to ensure that CBSA has sufficient time to consider the data it receives from the industry, all importers and exporters who have received a questionnaire (or want to obtain specific normal values for their goods) should respond to CBSA's "Request for Information" ("RFI") by no later than March 21, 2022 and April 4, 2022 respectively.
Assuming CBSA makes a preliminary determination of dumping on May 25, 2022, the matter proceeds on two parallel tracks again: (1) the CBSA has 90 days to make a final determination as to whether the goods are being dumped/subsidized and to determine any specific normal values for individual exporters; and (2) the CITT has 120 days to make a final determination as to whether the domestic industry has been injured by the alleged dumping.
The CBSA's final determination of dumping is expected by August 23, 2022 (at which point exporters who fully cooperated with the CBSA will also be notified of their specific normal values), with a final Statement of Reasons 15 days later. The CITT's final determination is expected by September 22, 2022.
What can I do?
Given the strict timelines, and the significant amount of work involved in responding to RFIs, any importers or exporters potentially impacted by this Investigation and the eventual anti-dumping/countervailing duties should contact their lawyer immediately to discuss recommended next steps – regardless whether or not you have received an RFI/Questionnaire!
It may also be possible to request the CITT consider whether your goods should be excluded from the Subject Goods definition – typically on the basis the goods are unique and the domestic industry is not capable of producing a substitutable product. Again contact your lawyer immediately if you think your product should qualify for an exclusion.
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