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The Canadian International Trade Tribunal issued a final decision Oct. 19 that upheld a complaint filed by the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers Association alleging the injurious dumping of greenhouse Bell peppers from the Netherlands.

The complaint, which the Leamington, ON-based association filed Dec. 24, 2009, alleged that imports of greenhouse Bell peppers originating in or exported from the Netherlands were being dumped in Canada, and that the dumping of these goods was causing injury to the Canadian industry.

The announcement follows the Canadian Border Services Agency's Sept. 20 final determination that greenhouse Bell peppers from the Netherlands had been dumped and that the margin of dumping was significant.

"We are very pleased with the results of the investigations by both the CITT and the CBSA," Len Roozen, chairman of the OGVG, said in an Oct. 19 press release. “The finding of injury to Canadian growers and the resulting duty imposition restores a level playing field for our growers. Our growers want to compete on the basis of fair-trading practices, and this case demonstrates that we are prepared to defend ourselves if necessary.”

This decision means that Bell peppers released into Canada from the Netherlands will now be subject to a duty for the next five years, “which is the standard time set by the Canadian Border Services Agency,” George Gilvesy, general manager for the OGVG, told The Produce News. “At the end of the five-year period, the duty can be renewed for an additional five years if the CITT deems it appropriate.”

The association requested that the Canadian Border Services Agency investigate the unfair pricing of greenhouse Bell pepper imports from the Netherlands earlier this year.

Mr. Gilvesy said that the request reflected the association’s belief that Dutch exporters were selling below their cost of production at very low prices into the Canadian marketplace. This had continued over a period of years and has caused serious injury to Ontario growers, it was claimed. OGVG’s concerns were shared and supported by greenhouse producers in other provinces.

“The duty that will be assessed to Dutch exporters of peppers to Canada will be based on 193 percent,” said Mr. Gilvesy. “This is in accordance with the Canadian Section 55 process, which is assessed by the CBSA. The process allows an adjustment based on the Dutch demonstrating a level of cooperation, and it determines normal values for the provisional period. The Dutch did not, however, provide any information to the CBSA for purposes of the hearing.”

Canada’s Special Import Measures Act permits Canadian producers to seek the imposition of anti-dumping measures when they are injured by foreign producers selling into Canada below the selling prices in their own country or below the cost of production.

Over the last 10 years, Canadian growers have made substantial investments in greenhouse technology in order to expand the availability of Canadian- grown vegetables, including sweet Bell peppers.

The Ontario greenhouse sector is now one of the larger of its type in North America, growing tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers on more than 1,824 acres.