Tag Archive: anti dumping

  1. Whilst EU Commission claims no anti-dumping on parts for e-bikes, EU e-bike assemblers paying millions of duties, fines and guarantees.

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    LEVA-EU was officially informed by the European Commission that there are no anti-dumping duties on parts imported from China for the assembly of electric cycles. Despite this official confirmation, customs services all over Europe are attacking assemblers of electric cycles, slamming them with duties, fines, guarantees and sometimes even threats of criminal court cases. Spoiler alert: this is a complicated story.

    In a letter to LEVA-EU earlier this year, the Director-General of DG Trade wrote: “(…), as the bicycle parts for the assembly of electrical bicycles are legally not subject to the extended anti-dumping or countervailing measures, the assembly operations of electrical bicycles remain outside the scope of the Exemption Regulation (which logically can only exempt measures which are covered by the antidumping/countervailing measures in the first place).

    Despite the Director-General’s words, e-bike assemblers up and down the continent are paying 48.5% extended anti-dumping duties on essential bicycle parts, such as frames, forks, wheels, etc, for the assembly of electric bikes. This even involves wheels with motors and frames built for the integration of mid-motors. A child knows that those are not essential bicycle parts but parts for e-bikes only.

    What’s worse, some of those e-bike assemblers are fined and/or threatened with a criminal court case. And if they manage to get the administration in order at all, they still end up paying extended guarantees to ensure that they will only use those wheels with motors and frames for mid-motors in the assembly of e-bikes and not conventional bikes.


    Customs authorities all around Europe are currently attacking companies that assemble e-bikes only, companies that assemble both bikes and e-bikes are in the clear. That is due to the fact that the two types of companies are subject to different rules.

    A bike + e-bike assembler must obtain an exemption from the EU Commission. This exemption was implemented with the extension of duties to essential bicycle components in 1997. With the introduction of anti-dumping duties on electric bicycles from China in 2018, some companies moved their assembly to Europe. In some cases, companies had an exemption for essential bicycle components for conventional bicycles, which they also used to import bicycle components for electric bicycles. However, there was uncertainty as to the legality of this procedure.

    In an attempt to provide legal certainty, the European Commission published Regulation 2020/1296. With that Regulation, the Commission certified that companies in the EU, that assemble both conventional and electric bicycles, were allowed to use their exemption, originally awarded for assembly of conventional bicycles, for the duty-free import of essential bicycle components for the assembly of electric bicycles.

    Obstacle for start-ups

    However, this Regulation did not grant companies, that assemble electric bicycles only, the same exemption for essential bicycle components imported for the assembly of electric bicycles. Instead, these companies must obtain exemption from 48.5% anti-circumvention duties through end-use authorisation, which is granted by national customs authorities. These are often not properly informed on specific legislation for e-bikes and as a result many companies fail to obtain end-use authorization. What is utterly unfair is that until a company gets the authorization, they must pay 48.5% on those very components of which the Commission states that they are legally not subject to the duties! Furthermore, the conditions for end-use authorization include extensive guarantees and sometimes very complex business administration requirements. All this is a huge obstacle to starting a new business, which ultimately is detrimental to competition and to growing the market.

    Harrowing case

    The most harrowing case reported to us was a company applying for end-use authorization in August 2018, having their request denied in June 2020: 698 days after the application. They entered a new application and while that procedure was ongoing, another customs department raided the company and accused them of circumventing the anti-dumping duties on e-bikes from China. All that time, the company had been paying 48.5% extended duties on bike components for the assembly of e-bikes. Once again, those are the very components that, according to the Commission, are legally not subject to these extended duties. Finally, the company was informed that all that time, the customs had been treating the application as a request for authorization to import less then 300 components a month, not for the assembly of e-bikes. And so, they were back to square one.


    When the Commission extended the exemption to components for e-bikes through Regulation 2020/1296, LEVA-EU pointed out that this created a discrimination between bike + e-bike assemblers on the one hand and e-bike assemblers only on the other hand. Following a meeting with the Commission, LEVA-EU submitted a detailed proposal with amendments for Regulation 2020/1296. The objective was to also apply the exemption procedure instead of the end-use authorization to e-bike assemblers. The Commission never responded to this proposal, not until that famous letter from the Director-General, which we still do not fully comprehend. “The operations of electric bicycles remain outside the scope of the Exemption Regulation”, so electric bicycle assemblers cannot be included in the exemption scheme.

    However, the “operations of electric bicycles” are clearly in the scope of the Exemption Regulation if carried out by assemblers who also build conventional bicycles!? Frankly, the logic completely escapes us. We also believe it is not a coincidence that the article which grants exemption for assembly of bicycles and electric bicycles does not explicitly mentions “assembly of electric bicycles”. It stipulates “assembly of other products”. If it would have stated “assembly of electric bicycles”, then the Director-General’s claim would have become totally unsustainable.

    Inaccurate nomenclature

    In the meantime, LEVA-EU has discovered that one of the root causes of the problem is the nomenclature. This determines how to categorize a product for import into the EU. While electric cycles, as completed vehicles, are categorized together with motorcycles and mopeds, there is no separate categorization for electric cycle components. They all fall under the same category of non-motorized cycle components. That is how customs manage to categorise wheels with motors as conventional bicycle wheels and how companies end up paying the 48.5% extended duties for essential bicycle parts, despite the fact that it is a bicycle part legally not subject to extended duties, worse, it’s not a bicycle part full stop.

    LEVA-EU continues to negotiate with the Commission on this enormous and extremely unfair legal aberration. One of the potential measures to alleviate the pressure on the affected companies is to introduce suspension of payment of duties as soon as a company requests end-use authorization. This would at least remove one aspect of the discrimination between bike + ebike companies and e-bike companies only. When the Commission receives a properly documented request for exemption, payment of the duties is suspended relatively quickly. With end-use authorization, companies continue to pay for parts legally not subject to extended duties until they obtain the authorization, if ever they obtain the authorization. And of course, refund of the wrongly paid duties is out of the question.

    Obstruction fight against climate change

    The DLR-report, LEV4Climate, commissioned by LEVA-EU shows that light, electric vehicles including electric cycles offer the potential for saving up to 44% GHG emissions. With the current EU dumping legislation on bicycles, parts and e-bikes there will never be enough supply to meet the demand necessary for achieving that potential.

    Companies who have been or currently are being investigated by the customs are invited to contact LEVA-EU Manager, Annick Roetynck, tel. +32 475 500 588, annick@leva-eu.com. We are making an inventory of all customs actions, to build a case against these legal aberrations.

    Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash

  2. The Evolution of Cargo Bikes Rolls On

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    Source: The Mayor EU

    A forthcoming Rotterdam-based e-bike campaign means that it will soon be possible to borrow a cargo bike free of charge.

    A forthcoming Rotterdam-based e-bike campaign means that it will soon be possible to borrow a cargo bike free of charge. In a city where almost anything is possible by bike, the trial period will pave the way for the transportation of bulky waste, further promoting fitness and sustainability.

    The trial period will offer electric cargo bikes free of charge, in which items such as large garden waste or second-hand items can be deposited in environmental parks and certified locations. Here, the items will embark on a new journey and become useful every day goods for others in the city.

    The Municipality of Rotterdam announced the new initiative only last week in an effort to encourage residents to embrace the opportunity to increase their recycling quota and cut down on incineration. The public will be able to reach environmental parks in this favored transportation alternative by reserving a cargo bike or trailer from multiple locations and using it for part of the day to transport voluminous waste.

    The trailer is an open cart of 2 x 1.1 x 0.34 meters, and the size of the electric cargo bike is 1 x 0.5 x 0.6 meters, ideal for household waste that does not fit into underground containers or garbage bags. Examples of this waste include furniture such as sofas and cupboards, and large electronic items such as washing machines and vacuum cleaners, all of which can take on a new leaf of life by being transported to a recycling plant. In addition, trailers can also be attached to a car for ease of use.

    The trial period will remain in place until the end of October when the authorities will evaluate the usability and the usefulness of the new service. A discussion about extending the service permanently from 2023 will address the success and the uptake of the environmental campaign. At this time, only residents of Rotterdam can adopt the service, with businesses unable to apply.

  3. EPPO circumvention investigations

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    In February, the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) has communicated on two cases of alleged circumvention of the anti-dumping duties on electric bicycles from China.

    One case is situated in Naples, where companies allegedly imported dissassembled e-bikes from China and declared them as e-bike parts and spare parts, instead of e-bikes. The companies are also accused of evading VAT by using Turkey as country of origin and Turkish shell companies.

    The second case is situated in Palermo, Sicily. A company there is accused of importing e-bikes from China and falsely declaring Malaysia as country of origin. This case was initiated following a report by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF).

    Investigations into both cases are ongoing.

    If you have any questions on how to import components and e-bikes from outside the European Union or on how to import components, with a view to assembling in the EU, please contact LEVA-EU Manager, Annick Roetynck, annick@leva-eu.com. We have an exhaustive briefing with full details on how to avoid circumvention and how to work legally both in and outside the EU.

  4. UK to end Anti-Dumping Conventional Bicycles

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    Most questions as to how the Brexit transition will be on 1st January 2021 remain unanswered. Nevertheless, at least one question appears to have been sorted.

    There is still no certainty for instance as to the technical rules that will apply to LEVs in the UK. Another unresolved matter concerns the import and export rates for LEVs and their components between Britain and Europe. But what is certain now is that, on 1st January next year, the UK will no longer apply anti-dumping measures on bicycles from China.

    This decision has been taken despite the fact that UK businesses, which produce bikes had applied for a continuation of the measures. The termination has been based on the fact that the market share of these producers is insufficient to allow for continuation of the dumping duties. There is still a possibility for appeal until 30th October.

    This measure only concerns conventional bicycles. The issue of dumping duties on Chinese e-bikes has not been resolved yet. The termination of duties on conventional bicycles, will also remove the anti-circumvention measures against certain essential bicycle components. That will make life considerably easier for assemblers of electric bikes in the UK. If they want to import those components from China, they will no longer have to apply for end-use authorisation. The question as to what import duties will be applied for bikes and components from China still remains unanswered. Definitely to be continued …

    Photo by Frederick Tubiermont on Unsplash

  5. Anti-dumping duties Chinese e-bikes still disrupting European businesses

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    In our campaign against dumping duties on electric bicycles from China, one of our main arguments was that a very large part of components come from China. Both importers who had their e-bikes assembled in China and so-called European manufacturers often had no other option but to buy from China because there is simply no production elsewhere.

    Remarkably enough, this was confirmed by the European Commission itself when on 20 December 2018, they published Regulation No 1387/2013 suspending import duties on a number of products. The list includes frames, front forks, pedals, handlebars and saddles. The Commission explained that this duty suspension was necessary “to ensure a sufficient and uninterrupted supply of (…) products which are unavailable in the Union and thereby avoid any disturbances in the market for those products.

    It is utterly discouraging, one DG taking measures on the basis of one thing and another DG taking measures on the basis of exactly the opposite.

    As a result of the dumping duties, many companies are still working on an alternative for the assembly of electric bicycles in China. LEVA-EU has published a briefing for its members explaining what the legal options are both in and outside the EU. LEVA-EU also has a specific briefing on the above-mentioned suspension of duties.

    Many companies are still looking for assembly capacity in or outside the EU and for component suppliers outside China. Any company that has assembly capacity available or is able to supply electric bike components from outside China is invited to contact LEVA-EU. Please provide us with full company details and with detailed information on your activities. All proposals will be carefully scrutinized before passing them on to potentially interested companies.

    Please send an email with the required information to Annick Roetynck, LEVA-EU Manager, email annick@leva-eu.com

  6. How to deal with dumping on Chines e-bikes? Read LEVA-EU Briefing!

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    Have the anti-dumping duties on e-bikes from China disrupted your supply chain? Are you still struggling with finding an alternative in our outside the EU? Do you get lost in the Commission’s legalese on anti-dumping, anti-circumvention, rules of origin, etc? LEVA-EU’s briefing on the dumping case holds all the answers.

    The LEVA-EU briefing on the consequences of the imposition of definitive anti-dumping measures has all the necessary details on various legal solutions to continue to assemble and/or import electric bicycles.

    In the briefing we explain the following issues:

    • the scope of the measures
    • the applied rates
    • the application date and which provisional duties customs may and may not be collected
    • how and how not to continue import of e-bikes from China
    • how to organize legal assembly in or outside Europe
    • how to legally import components for electric bicycles without paying any duties at all, no anti-dumping duties, no anti-circumvention duties and no regular import duties

    For further details on the briefing please contact LEVA-EU Manager, Annick Roetynck, email annick@leva-eu.com, tel. +32 9 233 60 05

  7. LEVA-EU publishes detailed briefing on dumping case

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    The imposition of duties on electric bicycles from China has left many companies, both in Europe and in China, with a myriad of questions and problems as to how to continue their business. That is why LEVA-EU has published a comprehensive briefing on the case in an attempt to answer all these questions.

    The LEVA-EU briefing has detailed information on all legal solutions to contine assembly/import of electric bicycles. The briefing also has full details on the import of Chinese components for the assembly in Europe. It appears that many national customs services are not correctly informed. They often impose 48.5% anti-circumvention duties on bicycle components destined for the assembly of electric bicycles. This is unjust and therefore the briefing contains a full explanation on how to address this issue with national customs services.

    But the briefing has a lot more information on aspects such as the scope, detailed rates, application dates, etc. As more questions arise, LEVA-EU will continue to update this briefing. LEVA-EU is also collecting information from its members on those customs services that do apply the correct procedures for the import of components, with a view of presenting those services which continue to apply the anti-circumvention duties with best practice.

    For further details on the briefing please contact LEVA-EU Manager, Annick Roetynck, email annick@leva-eu.com, tel. +32 9 233 60 05

  8. Bike Europe publishes biased White Paper on dumping case

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    This week, Bike Europe published a White Paper that allegedly contains “all you need to know on EUs anti-dumping measures on e-bikes imported from China”. I have carefully read the White Paper and my conclusion is that there is not that much to know, except for: come to Europe, have your e-bikes made here and all your problems will be solved.

    The main article in the White Paper sketches 5 “illegal and legal scenarios to avoid anti-dumping duties on e-bikes from China”. To be precise, the article contains 4 illegal scenarios, whilst scenario 5 is an undisguised advertisement for setting up shop in Europe. Bike Europe declares that whilst there are only 70 European producers of e-bikes so far (the Commission only found 37), there are 250 bicycle producers eagerly awaiting e-bike orders. From this, it appears that the 25-year old dumping duties on conventional bikes still do not have the desired result, if these 250 producers all have unused production capacity available for the production of e-bikes.

    Go to Bulgaria

    Bike Europe continues the advertisement with the announcement that it is now even cheaper to have them made in for instance Romania and Bulgaria, then in China. With this statement, the authors of the White Paper seem to be forgetting that one of the reasons why Chinese exporters and European importers are hit with antidumping duties is because the value of their bikes is lower than the normal value of EU produced e-bikes.

    The authors continue with their undisguised advertisement and even switch into a political gear, just in case we forget how bad China is: “For Chinese, Taiwanese or companies coming from other Asian countries, there are no closed doors in Europe. There are no barriers to overcome in terms of for instance the obligation to partner with a European company; contrary to EU companies that want to produce in China. Investing in production in Europe brings not only an escape on the e-bike antidumping duties, but also shorter supply chains and being close to market; all elements for establishing a futureproof business.

    Never in my wildest dreams had I ever thought that Bike Europe would join EBMA in their popular tactic of “us” against “them”. The whole anti-dumping case is meant to be read as a battle of European manufacturers against Chinese manufacturers, (words I wrote more than a year ago) and that is exactly what Bike Europe is propagating.

    Importers’ ordeal ignored

    It is absolutely baffling to me to find that this White Paper even goes as far as justifying the mandate of the EBMA, whilst not paying the slightest attention to the ordeal that an estimated 150 European SMEs are going through due to this unjust, unfair and unfounded case. All these European SMEs, who had their e-bikes assembled in China, had to turn their businesses upside down and inside out overnight. Bike Europe does not have the slightest attention for any of those SME’s whose managers literally had nightmares over laying off staff, not honouring contracts, even potentially going bankrupt, just because  one signature from someone in Brussels, had them convicted and punished for cheating.

    I was on my way to the Belgian (e)bike exhibition, Velofollies, when the news was announced about the Commission’s final decision. I did not meet one person who cheered over the news, not a single one! The person I remember best is the owner of a small company, designing, specifying and marketing  their e-bikes here, but having them assembled in China. It had taken them years to organize their relationships with Chinese suppliers. For all these years, he and his wife had done nothing but work. When he heard the news about the duties, he hung his head in absolute sadness and said: “So, we have worked for nothing last year.” Following Bike Europe’s logic, he has just been stupid, because he’d been bothering with the Chinese whilst the Bulgarians and the Romanians could have done a cheaper job for him.

    Investigation too complicated

    This very statement about Bulgaria and Romania currently being cheaper than China also proves that Bike Europe does not understand what a dumping case is. It is a trade defence instrument, to defend European trade against illegal trade practices from outside Europe. Dumping is an illegal trade practice, anti-dumping measures are not to be abused as a political tool to protect European economy and European employment. To implement anti-dumping measures, there must be sufficient proof of dumping and of injury to the EU Industry and a causal link between the two. In the past year, Bike Europe has never bothered to really investigate the case, let alone to actually ask those companies that were allegedly injured how that injury manifested itself. Whenever I suggested such investigation, I got told the case was too complicated.

    However, the case does not appear to be too complicated for Bike Europe to conclude, with EBMA, that the best solution is to produce in Europe. Unfortunately, the White Paper does lack a few details. Just to mention one: it does not explain how to cope with the import of parts from China. The White Paper does have a story about SKD and CKD but says absolutely nothing about the enormous problems and chaos resulting from the fact that customs all over Europe are unaware of the fact that bicycle parts are exempted from 48.5% anti-circumvention duty if used for the assembly of electric bicycles. The White Paper says something about circumvention but circumvents the issue of who will be able to deal with anti-circumvention on component parts for electric bicycles. It is much more interested in warning against illegal transhipments.

    LEVA-EU is working on these issues and providing its members with the necessary information and advice. LEVA-EU is also considering the next steps in this case because anti-circumvention on components for e-bikes will have an even more detrimental impact on the European e-bike sector. LEVA-EU does not believe in the Europeans against the Chinese, LEVA-EU believes in people: in Europe, in China, in Vietnam, in Malaysia, …. This world needs solidarity, mutual respect and cooperation, it certainly does not need yet another blame game.

    You can download the White Paper here: https://www.bike-eu.com/whitepapers

    If you need advice and assistance with dealing with the duties, contact LEVA-EU: leva-eu@telenet.be, tel. +32 9 233 60 05.

    This article is my personal opinion.

    Annick Roetynck

  9. 60 European SMEs request Commissioner Malmström to act against unsubstantiated dumping allegations

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    No less than 60 European SMEs from 13 different EU member states have sent a motivated request to Trade Commissioner Malmström. In the letter, the importing companies explain why the Commissioner should review the Commission’s intention to impose up to 79.3% duties on import of electric bicycles from China. The 60 companies label this plan as “an extremely severe punishment for unsubstantiated dumping allegations”.

    The request of the 60 SMEs is being supported by another 27 European companies that are active in the E-bike sector but don’t import electric bicycles from China. They are European producers of components, accessories, LEVs other than e-bikes, but also distributors, dealers, service providers, … All 87 European signatories together employ 1,419 people. The letter has received further support from non-European companies active in the e-bike sector as well as from Chinese e-bike assemblers. The signatories’ list holds a total of 176 names but is confidential.

    Unsubstantiated dumping allegations

    Dumping measures must always be founded upon three pillars: dumping on the EU market, injury to the EU producers and a causal link between the two. The most important argument for this request to Commissioner Malmström is the fact that the Commission has been unable to establish injury. On the contrary, the Commission itself has established economic performance indicators, which show that the EU producers are fit and healthy[i]:

    • Sales volume: + 21%
    • Production volume: + 29%
    • Production capacity: + 35%
    • Employment: + 40%
    • Labour costs: -10%
    • Profitability: + 25%
    • Investments: + 77%
    • Return on investment: + 103%

    The only extremely weak argument for the Commission to claim injury is the fact that the industry profitability was 3.4% in the investigation period (Sept. ’16 – Sept. ’17), whilst the Commission feels it should be 4.3% as it was in 2015.

    Abuse of TDI

    The 60 importers conclude that the Commission intends to impose duties up to 79.3% in order to allow the EU industry (31 companies according to the Commission) to increase its profits by a meagre 0.9% (percentage of sales turnover) at the expense of an estimated 150 European SMEs. According to the letter writers, this calls into question the whole economic efficacy of imposing such duties, resulting in extremely high costs and a huge impact on both Union importers and consumers, whilst the benefit to the Union Industry is outright marginal.

    The group warns the Commissioner that final duties will have an immensely negative effect on the whole European e-bike sector. Therefore, they call upon her to reconsider the proposed measures, which will only be for the benefit of a handful of EU companies “who are abusing a trade defence instrument to disturb the market and upset competition”.

    Final judgment

    On 18 December, the EU member state representatives in the Trade Defence Instruments Committee will meet to give their final judgment on the Commission’s proposal. The 60 SMEs have sent the same request to their respective representatives in the TDI Committee. The decision of the Committee on final measures comes under the examination procedure. This means that the committee’s opinion is delivered by a qualified majority (55% of member states representing at least 65% of EU population). All aspects of this Committee’s meetings are confidential.

    This letter marks the final effort of the Collective of European Importers of Electric Bicycles supported by LEVA-EU to fight the Commission’s proposal for the imposition of dumping duties. The Collective will now await the Commission’s final decision, announced for January 2019, upon which they will confer on potential further actions.

    [i] PP 14-16 of the AD643 General Disclosure Document

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