EU Adopts New Anti-Dumping Rules; Implications for E-Bike Case
BRUSSELS, Belgium – Yesterday, the European Council approved new anti-dumping rules to help protect the EU against unfair trade practices. They will enter into force by 20 December and have implications for the current EU anti-dumping proceeding concerning imports of electric bicycles originating in China.
This new anti-dumping methodology will identify and redress cases where prices of imported products are artificially lowered due to state intervention. The new legal framework removes the former distinction between market and non-market economies for calculating dumping while maintaining the same level of protection for producers.
Significant market distortion
In their dumping investigations the European Commission will now need to prove the existence of a “significant market distortion” between a product’s sale price and its production cost. On that basis, it will be allowed to set a price for the product by referring for example to the price of the good in a country with a similar level of economic development or to relevant undistorted international costs and prices.
Switzerland used as comparison country
In the current anti-dumping case on e-bikes imported from China, the European Bicycle Manufacturers’ Association (EBMA) is using Switzerland as “a country with a similar level of economic development.” When comparing the prices for Swiss e-bikes “with Chinese export prices to the EU for the representative product types and for hub and centre engines. The calculations clearly demonstrate that Chinese producers are heavily dumping e-bikes in the EU, with triple-digit dumping margins”, claims EBMA. The manufacturers’ association said that, on the basis of price information by Chinese e-bike exporters, calculations show a lowest dumping margin of 193% and the highest one at 430%. As the dumping investigation on made in China imported e-bikes started before the adoption of EU’s new methodology, on 20th October 2017, the European Commission will use the old methodology with the analogue country.
EU’s new anti-dumping rules now also allow for making special distortion reports. A press release issued by the European Union says on that “The Commission will also draft specific reports on countries or sectors describing distortions. In line with current practice, it will be for EU firms to file complaints, but they will be able to use the Commission’s reports to support their case.”
The text on the new rules for anti-dumping was adopted on 15 November by the European Parliament and on 4 December by the Council and will be signed in Strasbourg on 13 December. The publication in the Official Journal of the regulation is expected on 19 December. It will enter into force one day later.
The Commission proposed targeted amendments to the anti-dumping methodology in November 2016. This specific adaptation to the regulation on trade defence instruments – which is also in the process of being reviewed – is formulated in a country-neutral way and in full compliance with the EU’s WTO obligations.