The Australasian Paper Industry Association (APIA), together with PVCA, have been granted a temporary stay of federal anti-dumping duty on A4 copy paper that was driving up prices following the closure of Opal’s paper manufacturing operation in Victoria, allegedly because of an endangered Possum.
“The Australasian Paper Industry Association (APIA) and the Print and Visual Communication Association (PVCA) have partnered in an advocacy initiative into Federal government and achieved a win for industry with the Minister granting a stay on the anti-dumping duty across A4 Copy Paper,” the PVCA said in a media release.
Following discussion with relevant parties, APIA/PVCA issued a letter to the Anti-Dumping Commissioner, Dr Armstrong, and the Minister for Industry and Science, the Hon. Ed Husic, calling on the review and the ultimate lifting of all tariffs and duties across the importation of A4 Copy Paper.
“Given the disappointing closure of the manufacture of A4 Copy Paper and loss of some 200 jobs and 200,000 tonnes of copy paper from our local manufacturer, many members were being impacted by a loss of supply and with the duties and tariffs, an inflated price, to complete their orders across print, mail and related sectors using A4 Copy Paper,” said Kellie Northwood, CEO of the PVCA and executive director of APIA. “We responded with immediate collaboration and prompt communication.”
The formal request was issued on the 5 April 2023, with the Commissioner issuing an urgent, albeit temporary recommendation, to Minister Husic on the 15 April, which he accepted on 20 April.
“The recommendation to temporarily exempt imported copy paper from anti-dumping duties has now been communicated to APIA/PVCA following an inquiry across impacted industry sectors that supported without objection,” the PVCA said. “Most notably, the Lottery and Newsagency Association, A&C Paper Group (hand and toilet towel importer) supported a public non-objection. Nippon Paper confirmed they had withdrawn from graphic paper manufacturing and therefore Opal did not oppose the exemption.
“That exemption applies to A4 Copy Paper from all countries and retrospectively took effect from 18 January 2023. The retrospective application means any importer who paid an anti-dumping duty post 18 January 2023 can receive a refund.”
On 26 April 2023, the Australian Border Force granted a Tariff Concession Order (TCO) for imports of A4 paper under the Tariff Classification code 4802.56.10 (TCO number 2340588) operative from 9 February 2023. All imports meeting the eligibility criteria detailed in the TCO description that enter Australia on or after this date are eligible for tariff free entry.
The Anti-Dumping Commissioner is now initiating revocation reviews to examine whether the anti- dumping measures are no longer warranted long-term.
Nippon Paper's Maryvale Mill was closed after feedstock access was denied, with the Victorian Government citing habitats of endangered Possums and Sugar Gliders as the reason for this denial.