On 4 February 2016, the European Court of Justice issued a landmark ruling in Joined Cases C659/13 and C34/14 (Clarks & Puma) by invalidating the anti-dumping duties paid on imports of certain footwear from China and Vietnam from 2006 until 2011. Between 2006 and 2011 the EU imposed anti-dumping duties on footwear from China and Vietnam of 16.5% and 10% respectively.
The European Court of Justice has now confirmed that the Regulations imposing the duties are invalid in so far as the European Commission did not examine the Market Economy Treatment and Individual Treatment claims duly filed by certain cooperating Chinese and Vietnamese footwear exporters. The court found that the Commission was under a legal obligation to examine these claims and its failure to do so led the Court to conclude that the ‘footwear Regulations’ were invalid where imports from those suppliers are concerned. The invalidity of the Regulations effectively extinguishes the original debt and allows importers who have made duly substantiated claims within the legal time limits to continue these reimbursement proceedings.
VVGB lawyers Edwin Vermulst and Juhi Sud represent Puma and a coalition of 25 footwear brands and importers claiming reimbursement of the AD duties on the same legal grounds, many of whom had suppliers treated identically to the litigants in these cases.