Tag Archive: china

  1. EU Court annuls anti-dumping & anti-subsidy Regulations for Giant

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    End of April, the EU General Court has ruled that the anti-dumping and anti-subsidy Regulations on imports of electric bicycles from China must be annulled in so far as it concerns the applicant, i.e. Giant.

    The judgment is clear and simple. The Commission has made a methodological error in the determination of price undercutting which cannot be overcome. This error invalidates the causal link between the alleged dumped imports and the injury to the EU industry. As a result, the Court has annulled both the anti-dumping and anti-subsidy Regulations for Giant.

    More importantly, the Court has stated that the methodological error has a bearing on the calculation of price undercutting established in respect of the other sampled exporting producers. In other words, the Regulations are in theory not only invalid for Giant but for all parties involved. However, only Giant took the case to Court and, therefore, the Court can only rule for Giant.

    This judgment proves how shaky the Commission’s evidence in this case was. And because the evidence was so shaky, the Court had no trouble in overturning it.

    LEVA-EU is currently seeking legal advice on the wider implications of this judgment. The Anti-Dumping and Anti-Subsidy Regulations in question continue to have a very negative impact on European companies. Partly because of the intertwining with the anti-circumvention rules on bicycle parts, it is nearly impossible to start up a new e-bike business in the EU. At the same time, life is also continually made difficult for e-bike importers and assemblers outside Europe and China.

    The court has exposed part of the injustice. Hopefully, this verdict will lead to the elimination of all other trade barriers resulting from these two fundamentally flawed EU regulations.

  2. 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.

  3. China continues development of circular battery economy

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    Source: electrive

    Global electric vehicle usage continues to rise, and with it, potential battery waste. Changes to legislation in China provide a case study for other countries wishing to alter the life cycle of their batteries. 

    China is the world’s single largest early adopter of electric vehicles. Alongside this wave of new technology are new challenges, including an enormous quantity of batteries that must be reused or recycled. Over the last 6 months, China has seen a series of new directives that act to build upon existing battery reuse and recycling schemes, industry, and infrastructure.  The success of these initiatives over the coming months and years will provide crucial insight into how other countries can improve battery usage and secure a more environmentally conscious future for electric vehicles.

    During 2021, 3.3 million new energy vehicles (NEVs) were sold in China; these include purely battery, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. This number does not account for the millions of electric bikes and mopeds additionally sold during the period. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) now aims to ensure greater environmental protection, improved resource utilization, and healthy NEV development through new directives. The battery recycling market in China is estimated to reach 3.59 billion euros by 2025.

    Battery reuse – a sustainable ladder

    After an operating period of 4-6 years, electric vehicle batteries operate at a capacity below 80%, becoming unfit for the original intended use. Here the second life ‘ladder’ utilized by China comes into action, moving batteries into slower electric vehicles, and eventually, stationary energy storage units. The policy is referred to as ‘most urgent use first’, with older batteries descending the ladder as their performance degrades.

    Battery recycling – the ins and outs

    At present, there are 47 whitelisted battery recycling companies in China, with two firms – Brunp and GEM representing 50% of official operation. Operating unofficially, a plethora of smaller businesses offering cheaper rates also exist, though may operate in a wasteful, or harmful way.

    However, while there is seemingly plenty of activity, only 30-40% of battery materials are estimated to be recycled. The relatively new industry is still finding its footing. In an ideal scenario, once all aspects are streamlined, there is a possibility for 80% of components in many battery types to be recycled.

    New directives to kickstart a recycling revolution (2018-2021)

    China’s first regulations in 2018 made automakers responsible for the recycling of batteries in their vehicles and promoted an ‘internet + recycling’ business model, facilitating the flow of second-life batteries.

    2021’s 5-year plan sees a renewed focus on the electric transport industry in all aspects and lays the foundation for a complete battery recycling system by 2025, representing a more circular battery economy. For region-specific initiatives and specific directives, click here.

  4. LEVA-EU launches Wechat account

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    On 17 February 2021, LEVA EU launches its official Chinese Wechat (the primary social media platform in China) account, with the goal of bridging the information gap and sharing LEVA EU updates with Chinese contacts.


    We have been cooperating and working with our Chinese members and partners very actively from the start of our association“, LEVA EU Manager Annick Roetynck says, “but with the help of this Wechat account, we hope to bring our relationship and communication even closer. We know a lot of our European members also use this tool when working with their Chinese partners, and we hope they can share the channel with their Chinese network, who can surely benefit from the information we will publish.

    LEVA EU China Affairs Director, Dennis Hu, explains “the Wechat account will share related information on a monthly basis, with a mission to create a closer and deeper connection between Chinese associates and members, and the European market.” He added the invitation, “Please do follow our account and we hope to interact with you all soon!

    You may scan and follow LEVA EU’s Wechat account as below.

  5. How Chinese anti-dumping measures impact EU import of e-bikes

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    In 2019, Taiwan has taken the lead in the export of electric bicycles 25 km/h to the EU. Exports increased by 80% to almost 390,000. This was of course due to the imposition of anti-dumping duties on Chinese e-bikes. This forced companies assembling in China to move their operations. Some of them crossed the Formosa Strait to set up shop in Taiwan.

    Logically, the relocation of these e-bike assemblers accused of and punished for dumping should have resulted in Taiwan’s average export value being dragged down. Instead, it went up with 5.4% This further questions the very dubious Commission decision to penalize imports from China.

    In the meantime, efforts are continuing to make assembly of electric bicycles outside Europe more difficult. At the request of EBMA, in October last year, the European Commission has suddenly amended the rules of origin for countries with non-preferential status such as Taiwan: without prior warning and without a transition period. As a result, it is much more difficult to use Chinese parts in Taiwanese assembly. Thus, Europe tightens the thumbscrews on Taiwan without EBMA having to go through the difficult procedure of a circumvention complaint against the country.

    Apart from Taiwan (for the time being), very few non-EU countries seem to really benefit from the dumping. The growth percentages for Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia and Cambodia, among others, are considerable, but the total export figures of these countries remain limited. In 2019, total export from non-EU countries declined 30% but increased in value by 38% from 602 to € 831. This value is very close to the average value of intra-EU imports for 2019: € ​​860. Total intra-EU imports increased by 47.4% to almost 2.3 million units.

    That indicates that much of the assembly was brought from China to Europe. And here too, the average value seriously questions the Chinese dumping measures. If dumping had actually been such that action had to be taken, the relocation of those assemblers would have led to a significant drop in intra-EU import values. Quod non. In 2019, it decreased only by 3.2% compared to 2018. Supporters of the dumping measures will no doubt point to the fact that a lot of assembly activities have been moved to the old continent. However, dumping measures have never been intended for relocation of production.

    Non-EU imports

    Country201720182019Change 2019/2018
    Taiwan126,130215,767388,875+80%
    Vietnam105,742152,803154,478+1.1%
    China718,011659,781105,370-84%
    Switzerland26,51637,25642,027+12.8%
    Thailand7,35811,45415,895+38.8%
    Turkey3122,45213,078+433%
    Malaysia82110,717n.a.
    United Kingdom5,2585,37810,418+93.7%
    Indonesia2554973,489+602%
    Cambodia01,8393,237+76%
    Total non-EU993,6631,091,610763,855-30%

    Average value of non-EU imports

    Country201720182019Change 2019/2018
    Taiwan99410001054+5.4%
    Vietnam562484558+15.3%
    China420443259-41.5%
    Switzerland157415941714+7.5%
    Thailand755629606-3.7%
    Turkey735720662-8%
    Malaysia846763206-73%
    United Kingdom352581438-24.6%
    Indonesia685551505-8.3%
    Cambodia06071129+86%
    Total non-EU543602831+38%

    Intra-EU imports

    Intra-EU1,037,8811,545,5662,278,379+47.4%

    Average value of EU-imports

    Intra-EU790880860-3.3%
  6. Commission Regulation 2020/1296 discriminates EU E-Bike Assemblers

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    On 29 September, we announced the publication of a new Regulation on essential bikes parts from China. LEVA-EU has now thoroughly analysed the text and concludes that the Regulation results in a serious discrimination of companies that only assemble electric bicycles. Below is a summary of this analysis. On 8 December, LEVA-EU has a meeting with DG Trade to discuss the problem. A story to be continued.


    • Since 1997, there is an extension of the anti-dumping duties on conventional bicycles from China by means of 48.5% anti-circumvention duties on essential bicycle parts.
    • European assemblers can obtain an exemption from this anti-circumvention duty. They must prove to the European Commission that the value of Chinese components does not exceed 59% of the value of the bike or the value added through assembly must be more than 25% of the manufacturing cost.
    • Once such exemption obtained, it is valid indefinitely and it does not require any additional compliance/reporting guarantees and obligations such as paying security deposits, etc.
    • Some essential bicycle parts are also used for the assembly of electric bicycles. They have been excluded from the 48.5% anti-circumvention duties by Regulation 512/2013. However, explicit exemption must be obtained by applying for end-use authorisation with national customs.
    • With the introduction of anti-dumping duties on electric bicycles from China, some companies have 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 has published Regulation 2020/1296. With that Regulation, the Commission certifies that companies in the EU, that assemble both conventional and electric bicycles, are 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.
    • This extension of the scope of the exemption appears to be automatic. In the Regulation, there is no procedure to report nor to assess whether companies effectively use essential bicycle components for the assembly of electric bicycles.
    • This Regulation does 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 the end-use authorisation. This procedure is handled by national customs. There are numerous examples of companies trying to obtain this authorisation in vain. The administrative and financial burden resulting from this procedure is extremely heavy and complicated.
    • LEVA-EU has concluded that Commission Implementing Regulation 2020/1296 violates the principle of equal treatment and creates unfair conditions in the market of electric bicycles in the EU.  Therefore, LEVA-EU is of the opinion that the Commission makes either all producers of electric bicycles subject to an end use relief or to the Commission exemption system. 
    • If your company is assembling e-bikes only and has (had) difficulties in obtaining end-use authorization, please contact Annick Roetynck at LEVA-EU, tel. +32 9 233 60 05, email annick@leva-eu.com. We are collecting relevant testimonies.
  7. 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

  8. New Regulation on essential bike parts from China

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    On 17 September, the European Commission has published a new Regulation on the use of essential bicycle parts from China. This Regulation is meant to grant legal certainty to bicycle producers who also assemble electric bicycles. However, the new legal text appears to create a discrimination for companies that only assemble electric bicycles.

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    In 1993, the European Union imposed anti-dumping duties on the import of conventional bicycles from China. In 1997, these duties were extended to the import of so-called essential bicycle parts, which include among other things frames, forks, wheels, etc.

    Under specific conditions, European bicycle assemblers were enabled to ask for an exemption from these so-called anti-circumvention duties on bicycle parts. They had to prove to the Commission that no more than 59% of the value of their bikes consisted of Chinese parts.

    It took a while for the Commission to realise that the anti-circumvention duties on bicycle components caused a serious problem for the assembly of e-bikes in Europe. In this case, conventional bike components were used for an end-product not subject to anti-dumping duties. This shortcoming was remedied with Regulation 512/2013, which added point (d) to Article 14 of Regulation 88/97: bicycle components were exempted subject to end-use control if they were for use “in the assembly of cycles fitted with an auxiliary motor (TARIC additional code 8835)”.

    In January 2019, the EU imposed anti-dumping duties on electric bicycles. This forced many companies, who were assembling in China, to relocate. Quite a few of them set up shop in the EU. Some of them entered a cooperation with bicycle assemblers who had an exemption for the import of essential bicycle components. And many of those assemblers had been importing essential bicycle components under their exemption for conventional bicycles, although they were destined for use in electric bikes. There was no certainty as to the legality of this method.

    Assemblers who came to Europe without having (access to) an exemption for essential bicycle parts had to apply for end-use authorisation. In this procedure, they must prove that they are using the components for electric, not for conventional bicycles. It is up to the national customs’ authorities to decide how that proof should be produced. Some customs appear to be making it really hard for the applicants.

    Since anti-dumping duties were introduced on e-bikes from China, actions are underway, both at customs and OLAF level, to uncover potential circumvention of the measures. Because of increased attention for the import of (e)bike-components, the legal certainty as to the use of the exemption for the purpose of e-bike assembly became more pressing. However, the Commission appears to have chosen a very peculiar solution for the issue.

    Although conventional bike assemblers had Article 14(d) at their disposal, just as electric bike assemblers, the Commission decided to considerably simplify their life. Regulation 2020/1296 automatically extends their exemption for conventional bike parts to essential bicycle parts being used for electric bicycles. Article 1(3) of that recent Regulation rephrases Article 8(1)(b) of Regulation 88/97 by adding “or assembly of other products”, i.e. electric bicycles.

    This extension of the exemption to “other products” is only available to conventional bike producers who also assemble electric bikes. Electric bike producers who do not assemble conventional bicycles are unable to obtain the exemption because Article 1, indent 4 of Regulation 88/97 defines “assembly operation” as “an operation in which essential bicycle parts are brought in for the assembly or completion of bicycles”. Had the Commission added electric bicycles to this indent, they would have simplified the life of e-bike assemblers alike.

    The net result of all this is surreal, to say the least. An electric bicycle producer in Europe must obtain end-use authorisation by proving that he does not produce conventional bicycles. The fact that he doesn’t have the exemption proves in itself that he doesn’t produce conventional bicycles. If he would produce conventional bicycles, he would go for the exemption, which is easier than end-use authorisation and it gives him a double advantage: exemption for conventional and for e-bikes.

    All this begs the question why the Commission chose to resolve this matter in this way. Could this be a prelude to anti-circumvention duties on e-bike components? Will, in that case, exemptions based on Regulation 88/97, be further extended to essential e-bike components?

    Although, LEVA-EU applauds the fact that there is now legal certainty for some producers, the trade association finds it unacceptable that not all companies are treated equally. LEVA-EU is currently seeking legal advice as to the potential discrimination caused by Regulation 2020/1296.

    In the meantime, LEVA-EU calls on companies in the EU to testify about their experience with the application for end-use authorisation. Has your company submitted such an application? Has the application been granted or refused? Was it easy or difficult to obtain the application and how long did it take? Please send your experience with end-use authorisation to Annick Roetynck, tel. +32 9 233 60 05, email annick@leva-eu.com.

  9. E-Bike imports into EU shrink with more than 30%

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    In 2018, there were still more than 1 million electric bicycles with pedal assistance up to 25 km/h and 250W imported[i] into the EU. On 18 January 2019, the European Commission published its decision to impose anti-dumping and countervailing duties on electric bicycles, which had an immediate effect. In 2019, imports from outside the EU shrunk with more than 30% to a little over 750,000.

    Taiwan wins

    The decrease in EU imports was entirely at the expense of China, which saw its result decimated from + 660,000 to just over 107,000. The biggest winner outside Europe of this decision was Taiwan. The country exported 338,570 e-bikes into the EU, 80% more than the previous year. Vietnam ended second in the top ten of exporters, but its export increased hardly: only 1.1% to just under 155,000. It is very likely that the Vietnamese result will be considerably higher this year, among other things due to the ratification of the free trade agreement with the EU.

    New players

    There are a few remarkable newcomers in the top 10. Malaysia in 8th position grew its export to the EU from virtually nothing to just under 11,000. Exports from Indonesia, on 9, remained relatively low at around 3,500, a result similar to that of the Cambodian export, which pushed the country from 7th to 9th position. Thailand booked a “modest” increase of just under 40% to a total of almost 16,000 and remained in 5th position. Turkey, in a customs union with the EU, managed only to a limited extent to benefit from the measures taken against China; it imported around 13,000 bikes, which was almost 5.5 times more than in 2018. Last year, China lost in volume a total of 552,508 electric bicycles. The countries in the top 10 (without Switzerland) have scooped up 37.7% of that loss, i.e. 208,493 bikes.

    Average value

    Switzerland is the country in the top 10 that has exported the most expensive e-bikes to the European Union. Their average value was € 1,714, that is a 7.5% increase. Surprisingly, in second place is Cambodia with € 1,129, almost double the value of 2018. In third place comes Taiwan, which only marginally increased its average value with 5.5% to € 1,055. The average value of imports from Thailand, Turkey and Indonesia all decreased with percentages under 10 and ended up anywhere between 500 and € 660. Remarkably enough, the average value of e-bikes from Japan only reached € 483, very close to the average Chinese value in 2018 of € 443. In conclusion, the average value of the total European import increased with 38.7% to € 836.

    Dumping?

    With the imposition of duties on e-bikes from China, quite a number of Chinese assemblers and their customers moved their operations to Taiwan. That explains why import volume increased with 80%. If there would have been dumping at a scale as argued by EBMA and endorsed by the Commission, then these accused Chinese assemblers would have dragged the average Taiwanese value down. The fact that the opposite has happened is quite telling.
    Obviously, what little assembly is left in China now can only be in the lowest price range. With anti-dumping and countervailing duties up to almost 80%, mid- and high-range e-bikes produced in China obviously become unsellable in the EU. And so the average value of e-bikes from China has dropped with almost 42% to € 258.

    EU export

    Last year, the EU has exported 138,000 e-bikes, a modest growth of almost 16%. The three main customers are Switzerland, Norway and the US. The average value, which was already high in 2018, increased with another 2.7% to € 1,587. The total value of European exported e-bikes was € 219 million, an increase of 19%. That is still about 3 times less than the total import value, which ended up at € 629 million in 2019, almost 4% less than in 2018.

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    [i] All numbers in this article only concern e-bikes with pedal assistance up to 25 km/h and 250W, CN Code 8711 60 10. The results for other electric bicycles are not available from Eurostat yet.

    Photo by Diego Fernandez on Unsplash

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