Chapter 6: Procedural requirements
Article 3, one of the new provisions in the SA, regulates the conduct of investigations for safeguard measures. It provides: A Member may apply a safeguard measure only following an investigation by the competent authorities of that Member pursuant to procedures previously established and made public in consonance with Article X of GATT 1994. This investigation shall include reasonable public notice to all interested parties and public hearings or other appropriate means in which importers, exporters and other interested parties could present evidence and their views, including the opportunity to respond to the presentations of other parties and to submit their views, inter alia, as to whether or not the application of a safeguard measure would be in the public interest. The competent authorities shall publish a report setting forth their findings and reasoned conclusions reached on all pertinent issues of fact and law. (Article 3.1) Both transparency and procedural fairness are the key elements. Under this Article, the competent national authorities are obligated to issue public notice to all interested parties and provide opportunity to the interested parties to present their own views concerning the proposed application of a safeguard measure. A fair investigation procedure would enable national authorities not only to examine the facts properly but also to consider the views of the concerned parties and balance their different interests. The national authorities would also have to examine all the facts presented by the interested parties, as the authorities are obligated to examine "all facts" in their possession.
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