The Czech Republic has launched a formal inquiry which is expected to pave the way for the establishment of safeguard duties protecting local sugar beet producers. The tariffs would be imposed on imports of isoglucose, isoglucose syrups, glucose syrups and other sugars. A statement to the World Trade Organisation said that the Czech Ministry of Industry had "evidence (that there has been) substantially increased imports of the substitutes of sugar, absolute or relative to domestic production and consumption, under such conditions to cause or threaten to cause serious injury to the domestic industry producing like or directly competitive products." From January to November last year, imports increased by 242% to 59,522.8 tonnes, compared to 1999's 24,631.2 tonnes.