Colombia moves ahead with anti-dumping tax on the import of frozen french fries

Colombia is proceeding with anti-dumping duties on the import of frozen potatoes that enter the country from companies in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.

According to a news release of the Colombian government, the Committee on Commercial Practices has recommended anti-dumping duties on the import of frozen potatoes that enter the country from companies in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany that export at dumped prices and for which the requirements for such a measure were verified.

The recommendation is to impose these rights in the form of an advalorem tax.

The Committee made the recommendation after evaluating the final results of the investigation that concluded that dumping actually occurred, and after establishing a causal relationship between the import at low prices and the damage caused to the Colombian potato sector.

Andrés Valencia Pinzón, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development:

“This is a historic decision, and as a result, 74% of imports of frozen potatoes that entered the country at anti-dumping prices must now enter at prices not affecting the production of the national agroindustry.”
For its part, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade, Laura Valdivieso Jiménez, explained that the decision adopted is the result of meticulous research that took into account different market variables (internal and external) and possible damage to this sector.

Laura Valdivieso Jiménez:

“This type of commercial defense measures are intended to restore the conditions of market competition and correct the distortion to the national market.”
When economic damage occurs, either because of an increase in the imports of a product or because goods enter at a price lower than their normal value, a company, or a group of companies or their industry association, can apply to the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism and request the application of a commercial defense measure.

In this way, the National Government, through its Ministries of Agriculture and Trade, advances in the commercial defense and sanitary diplomacy that protects Colombian producers and entrepreneurs and guarantees profitability and competitiveness in international markets.

Unclear to PotatoPro is if any additional approvals of this measure need to be taken by the Colombian government before it comes into effect and how and when this measure will actually be implemented.

It should come at no surprise that potato processing companies in The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany can produce frozen potato products at a price significantly lower than in Colombia, as a result of experience, local conditions (soil, weather) and the scale of both agricultural production and processing.

To refer to this as dumping doesn't do justice to what is really going on.

On the positive side, given the problems with potato supply in the affected countries due to drought and heatwaves this summer, the timing of this measure could have been much worse...