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JT&N Helps Hesheng Win a Product Exclusion Award in the Vietnamese Safeguard Measure Case

2017-06-20/ RECENT DEALS/ Yuan ZHENG

Recently, the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam rendered the final award on the color-coated sheet safeguard measure case, according to which, high-end color-coated sheets manufactured and exported by Suzhou Hesheng Special Material Co., Ltd. were successfully excluded from the list of products subject to safeguard measures. JT&N participated in the investigation into this safeguard measure case as the agent of Suzhou Hesheng Special Material Co., Ltd.

On May 31, 2017, the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam rendered the final award on the color-coated sheet safeguard measure case, ascertaining that safeguard measures should be taken for imported color-coated sheets [1]. At the same time, the investigation authority declared in the award that high-quality color-coated steels for special purposes (including but not limited to PCM and VCM for household appliances and electronics) would be exempted from safeguard measures. According to the award, high-end products manufactured and exported by Suzhou Hesheng Special Material Co., Ltd. (hereinafter "Hesheng") were successfully excluded from the list of products subject to safeguard measures.

On July 6, 2016, Vietnam’s investigation authority launched a safeguard measure investigation into the imported color-coated sheets. The investigation is about whether the number of imported products has increased dramatically and whether it will cause serious damage or threat to domestic industries that produce similar products or directly competitive products.

After the case filing announcement was issued, JT&N actively responded to the lawsuit for and on behalf of Hesheng by submitting a legal defense and an application for product exclusion. In the application for product exclusion, JT&N provided sufficient and powerful analysis on and discussion over the claim for product exclusion, and thoroughly and comprehensively demonstrated that Hesheng’s products are not "similar products or directly competitive products" stipulated in the WTO Agreement on Safeguards so that they shall be excluded from the list of products subject to safeguard measures.

Through the joint efforts of Hesheng and JT&N, the investigation authority fully understood and was ready to accept our claims in December 2016. However, the feasibility of effective exclusion implementation in practice became the ultimate obstacle for the investigation authority to accept our claims. During this critical period, JT&N took the initiative to further communicate with the investigation authority and the customs of Vietnam over the implementation issues, offered several implementation plans and finally get the approval from the investigation authority.

After the final award comes into effect, color-coated sheets manufactured and exported to Vietnam by Hesheng will be exempted from safeguard measures. The project is led by Xin FU, Senior Partner of JT&N.


[1] Safeguard measures refer to import restrictions that may be imposed by an importing WTO member on a product according to the principle of non-discrimination when the unforeseeable developments lead to an increase in the import volume of such product, thus resulting in serious damage or threat to such importing WTO member’s domestic industries producing similar or directly competitive products.

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