It starts with a complaint from an EU industry that imports from a non-EU country are subsidised and are hurting them. The European Commission then launches an investigation. If the Commission finds that exports to the EU benefitted from subsidies and caused injury to the EU producers and that taking action is in EU interest, it may impose duties to neutralise the benefit of such a subsidy. The EU's anti-subsidy legislation is based on World Trade Organization rules.
An anti-subsidy measure must be imposed within 13 months of the opening of the investigation, and is usually in place for five years, subject to review. The measures are typically in the form of a duty, which can be a percentage of the price of the goods, a fixed amount per unit or a minimum import price. The duty is paid by the importer and collected by the customs authorities of the EU country concerned.
Exporters to the EU can also agree to sell the product above a minimum price. In return, no duty is imposed. The exporting country may also agree to remove the subsidy.