Investigations terminated without a merit analysis at SDCOM

On February 22, 2022, a circular[1] was published in the Official Gazette of the Union (DOU), ending the sunset review – without a merit analysis – of the anti-dumping duty applied to Brazilian imports of ring-shaped (ceramic) ferrite magnets, originating in China (NCM 8505.19.10), which had been in force since 1998, with a consequent extinction of the applied duty. According to the Circular, the SDCOM questioned the reliability of the documents sent by the domestic and petitioning industry, Altom, thereby, deciding to terminate the review with the guidance of the Attorney General of the National Treasury of the Ministry of Economy (PGFN).

Decisions to terminate anti-dumping investigations without a merit analysis by the Brazilian authority are uncommon, yet not unprecedented, whether it be a sunset review or an original. In the last five years,[2] four other investigations have been terminated for the same reasons, besides the recently terminated investigation.

In 2020, an original investigation against Brazilian imports of phthalic anhydride (NCM 2917.35.00), originated from Israel and Russia, was also terminated without a merit analysis. However, in this case, the authority concluded on the termination without a merit analysis, due to the nullity of the administrative act that initiated the investigation. According to Circular SECEX nº 28/2020, the initiation of the investigation was based on incomplete data, which was incapable of informing the authority about the merits of the request to open the investigation. This was a result of the petitioner not presenting information regarding the sales made by the company in their initial petition, referring to the complete period under analysis.

Additionally in 2020, the investigation into the application of bilateral safeguards against the importation of non-wovens for application in personal hygiene products (NCM 5603.11.30, 5603.12.30, 5603.91.20, and 5603.92.20), originated from Israel, was also terminated with no merit analysis, considering the inconsistency of the data presented by the petitioner.[3]

In 2021, two more investigations were terminated without a merit analysis: the original investigation against Brazilian imports of rolled stainless steel 304 (NCMs 7219.32.00, 7219.33.00, 7219.34.00, 7219.35.00, and 7220.20.90) from South Africa and Indonesia[4] and the original anti-dumping investigation against the importation of socks (classified under title 6115 in all of its 24 sub-items, and 6111 in all of its four sub-items), originated from China, Paraguay, and Hong Kong.  In both cases, the investigations were terminated due to the lack of accuracy of the data presented by the domestic industry.[5]

Therefore, the absence of a merit analysis is noteworthy, especially more recently, and it has been justified by the insufficiency or inaccuracy of the information presented.  Furthermore, despite the absence of merit analysis being more common in original or initial investigations, it also occurs in reviews, as in the process recently terminated.


[1] Circular SECEX nº 11/2022.

[2] As a research methodology, all SECEX Circulars published between 01/01/2017 and 02/24/2022 were analyzed.

[3] Circular SECEX nº 63/2020.

[4] Circular SECEX nº 75/2021.

[5] Circular SECEX nº 54/2021.