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Delays in establishing a more effective anti-dumping system in Australia are increasing uncertainty for the country's plastic manufacturers and exporters of plastics products to Australia, according to Robert Bryce, commercial mana ger of Australia's Plastics & Chemicals Industries Association.

Bryce said new investment in Australia's plastics industry could be jeopardized if an improved anti-dumping framework is not implemented soon. He said Australia's curre nt anti-dumping system also is unsatisfactory for exporters of plastic products to Australia.

Australia imported A$11.6 billion (US$9 billion) of plastic and chemical products in the 1995-96 fiscal year. North America was the major single supplier with A$2.7 billion (US$2.1 billion) of exports.

Bryce said the industry wants the time frame for anti-dumping investigations reduced from 245 days to 155 days.

Currently, the Canberra-based Australian Customs Service investigates dumping allegations in Australia. If it finds there is a case, the country's Anti-Dumping Authority decides what action, if any, to take.

Bryce said the current investigation period is too long and creates uncertainty in the Australian industry and for exporters being investigated.

He said there also is need for an improved system of adjusting anti-dumping measures once they are imposed.

The Canberra-based ADA implements anti-dumping measures, usua lly through a special duty on imports. Duties are reviewed regularly by the Australian Customs Service to reflect changes in raw material prices.

However, Bryce said ACS reviews take too long and often cannot keep up with fluctuatin g world prices.

The government has referred Australia's anti-dumping system to the Melbourne-based Productivity Commission, a government-financed, independent organization that reviews Australian industry policies.

But Michael MacKel lar, PACIA chief executive, said the three previous reviews should have given the government the necessary material to make a decision on anti-dumping reforms.