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‘E-Bike Importers Threatened by Retroactive Collection of Sky-High Dumping Duties’

Laws & Regulations

BRUSSELS, Belgium – Last week the Collective of European Importers of Electric Bikes expressed a burning protest against the Commission’s decision to register imports of e-bikes originating in China. The group denounces the fact that the Registration Regulation causes severe injury to the European importers as they are threatened by the possible retroactive collection of sky-high dumping duties.

‘E-Bike Importers Threatened by Retroactive Collection of Sky-High Dumping Duties’
Importers say ‘Factoring in indicative dumping duty rates of 189% renders continued business unfeasible’. – Photo Joris Telders Fotografie

Last Thursday, May 24, the E-Bike Importers Collective has submitted its official response to the European Commission on the Registration Regulation. This Regulation was published in the European Union’s Official Journal on May 3. With it, and from May 4 onwards, the EU Commission has made imports of electric bicycles originating in the People’s Republic of China subject to registration. The EU Commission has not yet imposed (provisional) anti-dumping measures. But they are likely to follow as the on May 3 published EU document seems to agree to all allegations made by the EU industry.

In its May 24 official response the Importers Collective argues “While there is still no conclusive evidence for the accusation that imports are injuring the EU industry, the Regulation threatens importers with the possible retroactive collection of sky-high dumping duties. This threat hangs like a sword of Damocles over the head of a very large number of European SMEs.”

‘No injury to EU producers’

On its assessment that there’s no evidence on injury to the EU industry the Importers Collective states “As for this, it is a fact that the Commission does have useful information as a result of the verification visits carried out at Accell, Derby Cycle, Eurosport, Gazelle and Prophete. After these investigations, the non-confidential findings were made public. These clearly show that, for all companies, profitability for the product concerned improved significantly in 2015, 2016 and during the investigation period.”

‘Collective’s argumentation ignored’

The Importers Collective response to the Imports Registration also mentions a second essential point of criticism. “It is that the European Commission systematically ignores all argumentation of the Collective. That is in conflict of the article in the dumping legislation that explicitly requires the Commission, as far as registration is concerned, to give importers the opportunity to comment. The Collective states that the right to comment is purposeless, if the Commission can simply completely ignore the Collective in the way that it has done, without explaining why their argumentations and the evidence provided has not been sufficient persuasive to the Commission.”

‘Potentially gigantic duties’

What the Importers Collective also regards as “utterly dismaying and appalling” is what the EU Commission states in its May 3 published Registration Regulations document (this document is published at the bottom of this page). As already noted, in this document the EU Commission seems to agree to all European industry accusations on dumping by Chinese e-bike exporters. The Importers say that they are in particular appalled by the dumping rates mentioned in this Regulation because “they strike fear into the hearts of EU importers faced with potentially gigantic duties. As for the indicative dumping duty rates of 189%, the Commission is fully aware that in no previous anti-dumping investigation has dumping duties even close to this rate ever been imposed by the EU on any imports from any non-EU country. Yet this is the figure that importers have to work with when managing the risks of carrying on their business. Factoring in such an enormous cost renders continued business unfeasible if almost double of the import value of the bicycles will have to be paid in early 2019. It is therefore highly regrettable that the Commission made such a statement of an excessively high potential duty rate being retroactively imposed.”

Furthermore the European Importers continue to question “the use of Chinese export data and to confidentiality for the source of that data.” For more on that see these related reports:

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