Recently (Jan. 18th), after an extensive debate, Camex approved definitive anti-dumping duty on imports of rolled steel from Russia and China, for a period of five years. However, following the decision of seven out of the eight Ministries that compose Camex, it was also decided to suspend its imposition on the grounds of public interest, due to alleged negative consequences for the national productive chain and competitive environment.

Despite the impasse that had been described by the press as a “watershed” for the antidumping decisions in Brazil, it is not the first time that the Council of Ministers decides to suspend the measure, based on public interest, at the same time as it was imposed. This same decision was also taken in the case of E-SBR imports originating from the European Union. In fact, the law provides this possibility in art. 3, item I, of Decree No. 8058/1993 (Anti-dumping Law), which established that “in exceptional circumstances, the Council of Ministers may, on the grounds of public interest: (…) suspend, for up to one year, extendable once for the same period, the demandability of definitive anti-dumping duty or price undertaking in force.”

The discussion, however, is not whether this type of measure is legally grounded or not, since the law authorizes this type of suspension at any time. The discussion should be whether the issues analyzed by Camex really fits into the concept of public interest, or whether they are a mere revision of the anti-dumping case. The decision has not yet been published in the Official Gazette, but it is expected to indicate what exceptional circumstances justified the suspension on the grounds of public interest.