Trade defence instruments (TDIs)

Free international trade can only bring benefits if there is a level playing field between domestic and foreign producers based on genuine competitive advantages. The European Commission's role in achieving open and fair trade includes the defence of European production against international trade distortions such as subsidisation or dumping, by applying trade defence instruments in compliance with EU law and WTO rules (DG Trade website)


For purposes of anti-dumping investigations, dumping occurs when a foreign company sells a product in the European Union below the normal value of the product (the domestic prices of the product or the cost of production) on its own domestic market. If the European Commission conducts an anti-dumping investigation and confirms a dumping behavior, then anti-dumping measures might be imposed on imports of the product concerned. These measures usually take the form of a duty paid by the importer in the EU and collected by the national customs authorities of the EU countries concerned. Read more on anti-dumping on DG TRADE website


The EU anti-subsidy rules define a subsidy as "a financial contribution made by (or on behalf of) a government or public body which confers a benefit to the recipient". Forbidden are specific subsidies limited to a specific firm, industry or group of firms or industries. Export subsidies and subsidies contingent on the use of domestic over imported goods are deemed to be specific.
The EU may impose countervailing duties to neutralise the benefit of an illegal subsidy. A countervailing measure usually takes the form of a duty and is applied to counteract the injurious effects of subsidised imports on the EU market and restore fair competition. The duty is paid by the importer and collected by the customs authorities of the EU country concerned. Read more about subsidies and countervailing duties on DG TRADE website



European Commission video about Trade Defence Instruments