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European Commission imposes provisional anti-dumping duties on Chinese e-bikes

Published July 18, 2018
Tariffs range from 22 to 84 percent depending on factory.

BRUSSELS (BRAIN) — The European Commission has imposed provisional anti-dumping duties on e-bikes from China, with tariffs ranging from 21.8 to 83.6 percent, depending on which factory produced the bikes. The tariffs will be applied starting Thursday and will be in place for six months before a final decision is announced. 

In a complaint filed with the Commission late last year, the Electric Bicycle Manufacturers Association had called for anti-dumping tariffs of as much as 189 percent. In May, the Commission required importers to begin registering the imports of e-bikes and other light electric vehicles in preparation for a possible anti-dumping duty, which could be imposed retroactively. 

At the Eurobike show earlier this month, a coalition of European e-bike importers, backed by the LEVA-EU trade association, announced it was suing the Commission over the anti-dumping process, which the group, called the Collective, said was being promoted by a group of large bike brands looking to defend their market position. 

On Thursday Annick Roetynck, LEVA-EU's manager, reacted to the decision: “This is only one battle lost, we haven’t lost the war. From our first analysis, we conclude that the Regulation holds many inconsistencies and omissions. All these will be thoroughly addressed in the Collective’s official response to the Regulation.”

At a news conference at Eurobike earlier this month, Roetynck said, "There is no dumping."

"This is being pushed by a limited number of companies trying to get a bigger piece of the cake," she said. 

Many European e-bike brands have been working quickly in recent months to move their e-bike assembly out of China to other Asian countries or to Europe. Giant Manufacturing, for example, announced last week that it was investing in increased manufacturing and distribution facilities in Northern Hungary. Companies like the Czech Republic's Apache Bicycles also are offering their European e-bike assembly services to other brands. 

Importers feared that the tariffs would be imposed on bikes they've already ordered and are on ships headed for European ports. On arrival, the new stiff duties would be due and would be enough to bankrupt some small importers, they said. 

At the Eurobike news conference, Romanian importer Alexandru Dragoiu said it would be better to stop the import in any way possible.

"I'd consider just dumping them into the sea," said Dragoiu, the founder of E-Boda. Dragoiu, who insisted with a chuckle that he wasn't joking, told BRAIN he had about 100,000 euros worth of electric vehicles in transit.

"It's not so bad for me, but I know people who have 8 or 9 million dollars worth of inventory coming in, and they are not sleeping. This will simply bankrupt them."

The commission is accepting comments until Aug. 12.

The Trump administration has proposed a 25 percent tariff on U.S. imports of Chinese-made e-bikes and other electric cycles.  

Topics associated with this article: Trade/tariffs

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