On 17 and 31 March 2020, the Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture of Ukraine (the “Ministry”) published a Notice on the peculiarities of trade defense investigations during the quarantine restrictions related to COVID-19 and Clarifications on submitting and reviewing the information during trade defense investigations at the time of quarantine restrictions. The above documents set forth the procedures for trade defense investigations during the quarantine.
Please find an overview of the changes below.
The Ministry suspends all verification visits both within Ukraine and abroad during the quarantine.
The Ministry cancels face-to-face public hearings and orders them to be held via remote exchange of views/positions of the parties.
Extensions of deadlines for submitting answers to the Questionnaire
The Ministry informs that the deadlines for submitting responses to the Questionnaire will be extended if the parties provide a justification that they are affected by the measures to prevent COVID-19. Decisions on the extension of the deadline will be taken on a case-by-case basis.
It is important to note that all interested parties shall continue following the instructions of the Ministry to prepare answers to the Questionnaire, answer all chapters of the Questionnaire and provide all necessary supporting documents. The Ministry may resort to the ‘best facts available’ approach in case it is not possible to verify the information provided by the interested parties in their responses to the Questionnaire.
Access to non-confidential investigation materials
Note that according to Ukrainian law, access to non-confidential investigation materials must be provided to the interested parties in two ways:
The Law does not determine what type of distribution is preferred – by post, courier or by email. At the same time, Ukrainian Law provides that the Ministry shall not take into account materials and evidence submitted by the interested parties in the absence of such distribution. Accordingly, the interested parties mainly distribute materials by post and further send corresponding copies of description letters and receipts with postage stamps to the Ministry.
During the quarantine, the Ministry provides the following remote means of reviewing the investigation materials:
There are several investigations for which the Ministry has not yet created cloud storages. For these investigations, interested parties can review the information individually and remotely by approaching the Ministry on a daily basis.
Providing confidential materials
Regarding confidential documents, the Ministry asks to send them both by post and by e-mail to individual e-mails of the Ministry’s employees responsible for the relevant investigation/review.
For your information: 5 safeguard investigations and 12 antidumping investigations/reviews are currently on-going.