The Secretariat of Foreign Trade (SECEX), an agency under the Ministry of Economy, published Normative Ruling No.1 today, providing adaptations to trade defense and public interest processes, in the context of the Covid-19 Pandemic.
The main measures are: (i) the possibility of the suspension of procedural deadlines; and (ii) the suspension of on-the-spot investigations to confirm the information submitted by interested parties in the course of trade defense proceedings. Deadline suspensions had already been applied in practice in a few cases, whereas the authority had not yet issued a decision about on-the-spot investigations.
With the suspension of on-the-spot investigations and the provision of an alternative procedure for the authority to assess the information it receives, the Undersecretary of Trade Defense and Public Interest (SDCOM) will be allowed to proceed with those cases in which data submitted by exporters, importers and the domestic industry had not yet been verified.
According to the normative ruling, information submitted in trade defense and public interest proceedings will be assessed by means of “detailed analysis of all information submitted” by parties, considering not only each submission individually but as a whole, also taking into consideration other sources of information available to the authority (similarly to what the European Commission, the trade defense body of the European Union, adopted in March).
The authority also emphasized that it will apply the measures sparingly and with attention to the individual characteristics of each case, observing the principles of reasonableness and efficiency, and that the changes are temporary and should only last during the Covid-19 Pandemic.