On 23 September 2020, the World Trade Organization (WTO) Committee on Safeguards that on 13 September 2020 Malaysia initiated a safeguard investigation on ceramic floor and wall tiles, classifiable in tariff subheadings 6907.21.21 00, 6907.21.23 00, 6907.21.91 00, 6907.21.93 00, 6907.22.11 00, 6907.22.13 00, 6907.22.91 00, 6907.22.93 00, 6907.23.11 00, 6907.23.13 00, 6907.23.91 00 and 6907.23.93 00.
In the notification, Malaysia indicated, among other things, as follows: "Any interested parties, who wish to request for a copy of the questionnaires, shall identify themselves and its related business activities to the investigation within 15 days from the date of publication of the Notice of Initiation in the Federal Government Gazette of Malaysia."
What is a safeguard investigation?
A safeguard investigation seeks to determine whether increased imports of a product are causing, or are threatening to cause, serious injury to a domestic industry.
During a safeguard investigation, importers, exporters and other interested parties may present evidence and views and respond to the presentations of other parties.
A WTO member may take a safeguard action (i.e. restrict imports of a product temporarily) only if the increased imports of the product are found to be causing, or threatening to cause, serious injury. This is a repeat of the bit from the Thailand story above.
Story by: Riaan de Lange