E-Bike Importers Sue European Commission Over Imports Registration
GENT, Belgium – The e-bike dumping investigation entered an all new phase as two European e-bike importers filed an application for annulment of the Commission Regulation imposing the registration of imports of electric bicycles from China with the EU General Court.
Speaking at Eurobike yesterday Annick Roetynck, LEVA-EU Manager, and representing the Collective of European Importers of Electric Bicycles stated: “Importers of e-bikes are seeking the annulment of the registration regulation which was neither based on facts nor imposed with due process and is effectively causing a chilling effect for the importer’s businesses.” She referred to the European Commission’s decision to register all new imports of e-bikes since 4 May this year with the competent custom authorities. “While no duties are immediately applied during this registration, the process has created the risk of retroactive collection of anti-dumping/anti-subsidy duties at the end of the Commission investigations.”
Duties as high as 189%
The Commission Registration Regulation states that the potential anti-dumping duties alone could be as high as 189% of the value of the imports. “This de facto means for importers’ the cancellation of purchase orders, reduction in import volumes, loss of sales contracts with Union customers, while at the same time having their customer relations and reputation jeopardized, and potentially face compensation claims for breach of contract,” Roetynck said. “The sheer scale of this potential liability has left the importers with no choice but to file an action to the General Court to annul the registration which in their opinion was enacted in breach of EU law.”
The e-bike importers assert that the Commission Registration Regulation lacks merit: first, the importers claim that all evidence collected by the Commission so far shows that the EU industry has not been injured since even the allegedly injured “EU industry” has managed to increase its sales and production in absolute terms.
Second, the importers raised that the European Commission infringes their procedural rights, particularly the right of defense and the right to be provided by the European Commission with sound reasons for enacting the registration. The European Commission has not, unfortunately, explained to the importers how imports of e-bikes could be injurious to the EU industry that is growing in sales, production volumes and profits.
Damaging the market
According to the Collective of European Importers of Electric Bicycles, “The imposition of 189% anti-dumping duties would seriously affect affordable e-bikes, just as they are rising in popularity amongst EU consumers. At a time when the EU is struggling to reach its climate targets in transport and our cities are congested, Europe should work for sustainable mobility solutions rather than engage in unwarranted protectionist measures.”
Data correct or not
The source of the data used in the dumping investigation, and the Chinese export data in particular, has been under discussion continuously. Previously Bike Europe incorrectly published that the CCCME (China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products) confirmed that the statistics used by EBMA for the purposes of the antidumping complaint are correct. “We never made such statements, comments Chen Huiqing, Director of the legal service department of CCCME to Bike Europe. “In fact, the data associated with the Chinese 10-digit customs codes is confidential due to the specific commercial content. This data is not publicly available and in no event can the data lawfully be commercially exploited by third parties.”