Tag Archive: dumping

  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. LEVA-EU proposes to end discrimination of EU e-bike assemblers

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    On 7 December 2020, LEVA-EU has reported on how Regulation 2020/1296 discriminates EU e-bike assemblers compared to companies that assemble both conventional and electric bicycles. The current rules result in truly surreal situations as described in the article below. Just before Christmas, LEVA-EU has presented the European Commission with amendments to remove the discrimination.

    In order to prevent circumvention of anti-dumping duties on conventional bicycles, in 1997 the European Commission extended the duties to a number of essential bicycle components such as frames, forks, wheels, etc. In 2013, the Commission confirmed that, if these components were to be used for the assembly of electric bicycles, the 48.5% anti-dumping duty did not apply. This was laid down in Regulation 512/2013. E-bike assemblers could obtain that exemption from the duties by applying for end-use authorization. However, it has only now become clear how wrong and unfair the procedure of end-use authorization is.

    Paying for non-existing duties

    First of all, the application for end-use authorization can only be initiated if the company is already importing components. Even though the anti-dumping duty does not apply, the company has to pay the duties until end-use authorization is granted. There is in other words no suspension of duties during the procedure and no possibility of having the duties refunded once authorization is granted. This makes it virtually impossible for new assembly operations of e-bikes tot start up in Europe, unless the company has access to very substantial financial resources.

    End-use authorization is granted by national customs who have the competence to decide on the procedure. In the cases reported to LEVA-EU, the customs impose often excessive administrative conditions and comprehensive guarantees. The authorization is only valid for a limited period of time, upon which companies have to reapply. Also, the companies have an obligation to discharge the end-use within 6 months. There is in other words a deadline for using the parts in the assembly of an e-bike. Imagine, today, with the huge shortage of component supplies that you are being stuck with for instance a number of frames that you cannot use in an assembly because other parts necessary to finish the e-bike will only arrive next year.

    698 days

    National customs authorities are not bound by any time limits in granting end-use authorization. So far, only two companies have confirmed to us that they have effectively obtained the authorization, which took several months. In another case, the company has first introduced an application in August 2018. In June 2020, exactly 698 days after their firs application, their request was denied and they were forced to introduce a new request. All this time, the company paid 48.5% on the essential bicycle components they imported for the assembly of e-bikes.

    Despite that, last summer the company was raided by the customs and subsequently accused of … circumventing anti-dumping on e-bikes! The case may well be referred to a criminal court with the risk of a judicial conviction as well as having to pay anti-dumping duties on e-bikes and penalties. By now, Franz Kafka must be turning in his grave. The crux of the matter is that in the past 2.5 years, customs have made the fundamental mistake of treating this application for end-use authorization as a request for authorization to import less than 300 pieces a month instead of an authorization for the assembly of e-bikes.

    Clear discrimination

    The absurdity of end-use authorization has only come to light following the imposition of anti-dumping duties on electric bicycles. The new measures forced a lot of companies to find alternatives for their assembly operations in China. A number of them decided to move assembly to Europe and often found EU assemblers prepared to subcontract for them. These assemblers had Commission exemptions for the import of bicycle components for conventional bicycles, which they also used to import components for electric bicycles. However, there was uncertainty as to the legality of this process. That is why the European Commission issued Regulation 2020/1296 as a result of which all exemptions for components for conventional bicycles were extended into exemptions also valid for components for electric bicycles.

    However, the capacity of European bike assemblers was quickly exhausted. So, some companies had to establish new assembly operations in Europe for electric bikes only. And these companies bumped into the huge hurdle of end-use authorization.

    Admittedly, for the benefit of e-bike assembly in Europe there was a need for the legal clarification though Regulation 2020/1296. However, why the Commission found it necessary to also introduce a clear discrimination of e-bike assemblers remains a big question mark.

    Substantiated proposal

    In a meeting shortly before Christmas, LEVA-EU asked the Commission exactly that question. We did not get an answer as to the reasoning behind this bizarre Regulation but the Commission invited us to propose a solution to the problem. In the meantime, LEVA-EU in cooperation with its lawyers, has developed a substantiated proposal for amending the Regulation. The proposal is aimed at providing e-bike assemblers with access to the same exemption procedure as companies that assemble both bikes and e-bikes. The procedure would no longer be the competence of national customs authorities but of the European Commission and would be subject to the same deadlines as the existing exemption procedure. During the procedure, duties would be suspended. LEVA-EU also proposes to convert existing end-use authorization into Commission exemptions and on-going applications into applications for Commission exemptions.

    The Commission has acknowledged receipt of LEVA-EU’s proposal. We are now waiting for the Commission’s answer on the substance. However, it is clear that this Regulation, which directly prohibits the establishment of new companies in the EU cannot remain unchanged. LEVA-EU calls on all companies who have applied for end-use authorization as well as those who have obtained end-use authorization to come forward. Please contact Annick Roetynck

  3. UK shifts position on dumping

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    Although in an earlier statement, the UK Department for International Trade announced its intention to remove the anti-dumping duties on Chinese conventional bicycles, the department has now decided to change that position. Not only the measures on conventional bikes will be upheld, what’s more the measures on electric bikes from China will also be maintained.

    The Department changed position following the appeal from a very small group of UK based producers. Though very small, their market share was found to be above 1%, enough to change the decision.

    All other questions relating to the impact of Brexit on rules and regulations remain unanswered to date. The UK has left the Commission’s Motorcycle Working Group that confers on the EU type-approval for the L-category including electric cycles. However, that resignation says nothing about the continuation of type-approval rules in UK law after Brexit.

    On the other hand, it was confirmed last week that British experts will continue to work in the CEN working groups for cycles excluded from type-approval and this until December 2021. However, the question as to whether the UK will continue to use the Machinery Directive, as a basis for EU harmonized standards remains unanswered.

  4. 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.
  5. The EU asssassination of e-bike businesses

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    The electric bicycle sector in Europe is currently suffering from a dire shortage of supply to meet demand. No one was prepared for COVID-19 and the market explosion that the virus caused. The worldwide stock of parts is exhausted and many electric bicycle dealers are only taking orders. But there is more to it. The scarcity is also a direct consequence of the trade policy that the EU has been pursuing since 1993 in the field of bicycles and electric bicycles. In doing so, the intention seems to be to eradicate part of the European e-bike sector. Be warned, it is a long and difficult story.

    Anti-dumping measures are temporary measures to solve a temporary problem. The exception to prove this rule is the anti-dumping measures on bicycles from China. They have been in place for 27 years. Despite the measures, there is no bicycle manufacturing left in the EU. For purely economic reasons, those who effectively produced bicycles, including the guiding forces behind the dumping complaint, have moved on to buying components, to a large extent in China, and assembling them into bicycles in the EU. In the meantime, assembly cost in the EU is in some instances lower than in China.

    Non-existent Union production

    Component production in the EU has also disappeared to the point where, in 2018, the EU decided to suspend regular import duties for a number of bicycle components. In Regulation 2018/2069 the Council states: “The Union production of 87 products (…) is inadequate or non-existent. It is therefore in the interest of the Union to suspend totally the autonomous CCT duties on those products.” These products included a number of bicycle components. The Regulation ensures the supply of these components from countries outside the EU, to a large extent from China.

    This Regulation was implemented even though in 1997 the EU extended the dumping measures for bicycles to some of the same bicycle components listed in the above Regulation. As a result of Regulation 88/97, if you wanted to import these components from China to assemble them into bicycles in the EU, you had to pay 48.5% so-called anti-circumvention duties. The Commission had found that the anti-dumping duties on bicycles were being circumvented in two ways:

    • by shipping semi- or completely knocked down bicycles, which only required minimum assembly in the EU
    • by transhipping containers with bikes from China through 3rd countries to be sold in the EU without anti-dumping duty.

    So, the EU extended the anti-dumping duties to some countries accused of assisting in transhipping, as well as to the import into the EU of certain components. However, assemblers in the EU were enabled to obtain an exemption from anti-circumvention duties on components from the Commission. They had to prove that no more than 59% of the value of their bikes consisted of Chinese components or that they added 25% to the value through their assembly.

    Almost all EU bicycle companies who applied in 1997 and shortly afterwards, obtained the exemption for an indefinite period and without much further ado. Obtaining an exemption in a later stage proved to be much more challenging. According to the Regulation, you must first import for at least 6 months, in other words pay an extra 48.5% on Chinese components before you can apply for an exemption. Not many start-ups would be able to overcome such a financial pitfall.  For one party we know of, the Commission took 4 years, whilst the applicant was subject to the 48.5%.

    27 years anti-dumping

    So, this measure is almost an insurmountable obstacle to start a new bike assembly operation in the EU. The companies behind the anti-dumping complaint saw their mission accomplished. The anti-dumping measures ensured that China would be kept away from their core business, i.e. mid- and high-range bicycles. What’s more, the exemption system for anti-circumvention duties ensured that very few new EU competitors would come on the market. Everything went on quietly. No more competition meant no opposition against five yearly reviews, which resulted in 5 extensions. Today, 27 years later there is no prospect of ever getting rid of this temporary measure for a temporary problem. This is all the more the case since the EU bicycle manufacturers now also rely on the anti-dumping measures against bicycle and bicycle components from China to secure a similar position in the EU e-bike market. This is how the fork is in the stem.

    Some but not all so-called EU bicycle manufacturers were involved in the e-bike trend from the beginning. Again, these “manufacturers” were not manufacturing e-bikes, they were buying parts assembling them into e-bikes. As for those e-bike components, Bosch at that time was non-existing in the e-bike world and Shimano was still doubting heavily as to the longevity of the new invention.

    Hesitation in the conventional bicycle sector allowed new companies to come on the market and thrive. Whilst the “old” EU bicycle companies were tied to the demand and expectations of their dealer-network, the new companies could choose between Internet, brick and mortar shops or both, whilst not carrying any history in negotiating distribution deals. Some of these EU companies became extremely successful and fast growing. They had managed to set up a lean and efficient supply chain in China. As a result, they offered more reasonably priced e-bikes and more tempting terms and conditions.

    0.9% below expectation

    Even though the EU market grew consistently, the EU bicycle assemblers were confronted with more competition, the inability to conquer Internet and e-bike growth being at the expense of their conventional bike business. So, once again they went to the Commission whom they had been frequenting so long. The Commission chose to believe the allegations about distressed EU manufacturers, thousands of EU jobs being under threat and assorted concoctions about cheap Chinese e-bikes flooding the market. The Commission found the profitability of the distressed companies to be 0.9% below their expectation and consequently hit large numbers of European companies assembling in China with up to 79.3% duties.

    These European companies had to turn their business plan upside down overnight. LEVA-EU assisted a group of 14 importers in this case. We calculated that the damage to these 14 alone, resulting just from the investigation amounted to € 100 million. When the duties became effective in January 2019, some EU assemblers definitively moved their activities to the EU, others went elsewhere in Asia.

    Of those who came to the EU, some managed to have their assembly being done by companies that had an exemption for conventional bicycle parts. But capacity in the EU was too limited to meet the full demand. So, others set up new assembly activities in the EU and very quickly ran into trouble again.

    Horror stories

    Everywhere in Europe, alarm bells at customers’ services went off. Essential bicycle components were imported by non-exempted parties. Not that they had any premeditated intention to circumvent the duties on essential bicycle parts. They were simply unaware of the fact that their electric bike parts were identical to bike parts subject to anti-circumvention duties. They were also unaware of the fact that the Commission had published Regulation 512/2013 as a result of which essential bicycle components were exempted from duties, if used for the assembly of e-bikes.

    Only, to obtain that exemption, you had to prove to customs that you were not using the parts for conventional bikes nor selling them to non-exempted parties. Only with a so-called end-use authorisation, were you allowed to import these components for e-bikes free of anti-circumvention duties. And the national customs’ services had the liberty of developing their own rules for proving end-use.

    Several young European companies have applied for end-use authorisation but are confronted with customs who are making their life extremely difficult. We have a growing collection of downright horror stories.

    Exclusive favour

    As said, companies that started from conventional bikes had an exemption and were using this to import components for electric bicycles. However, there was uncertainty as to the legality of this procedure. Last September, the Commission published a new Regulation as a result of which exemptions attributed for bicycle components are extended to include those components for electric bicycles.

    The Commission decided to grant this favour only to bicycle companies that also produce electric bicycles, not to companies that only produce electric bicycles. Also, the procedure appears to be automatic and the Regulation does not mention any procedure to control the system. The question is for instance what happens if components are imported for e-bikes but, in reality used for conventional bicycles, thus exceeding the 59% circumvention threshold.

    Whilst conventional bicycle assemblers who also assemble electric bicycles can rejoice over this extremely useful favour from the Commission, EU electric bike assemblers are suffering and sometimes confronted with the most surreal problems. Most of them are kept waiting by the customs for an end-use authorisation. One of these waiting assemblers has been recently raided by customs and accused of anti-circumvention, despite the fact that he has consistently paid 48.5% on the bike components in anticipation of the end-use authorisation. In another case, the customs are in the process of proving that the wheels with hub-motors he imported are components for conventional bikes. He had to pay 48.5% on them as a guarantee.

    Shutting doors

    In the meantime, the Commission continues to shut doors. Upon the duties announced in January 2019, some assemblers moved to countries with non-preferential origin such as Taiwan, Thailand or Malaysia. Recently, the Commission decided to change the rules of origin for these countries. An electric bike will only be considered to originate in these countries if 45% of the ex-works price is originating. The question is how many of these companies will be able to obtain a motor and/or battery in the country where they are assembling. Also, there is no transition period whilst, in normal times, lead-times for e-bikes are 3 to 6 months. Today, some companies have already ordered components for 2022.

    And what is the alternative for these companies? GSP and LDC countries are still an option today but how long before the EU shuts that door as well? In that case, they are only left with the option of assembly in the EU. Here however, they will have great difficulties to obtain end-use authorisation to be able to import certain components without 48.5%. And by now, there are no European bicycle assemblers with exemptions left who have any available capacity.

    The big losers?

    There is still one measure to be taken: anti-circumvention duties on e-bike components. Only those companies that today have secured the supply of motors and possibly also batteries from outside China are certain to survive such anti-circumvention measures. And those are … the EU bicycle assemblers who are behind the anti-dumping duties. Competition wiped out, supply secured, control over prices regained, Commission convinced to keep the measures on for the next 27 years … mission accomplished.

    Besides the EU companies that are bound to perish, who are the big losers? The EU-citizens! They will have to pay a lot more for their electric bikes. A lot less e-bikes will come on the market then what is needed to make mobility more sustainable.

    Furthermore, the chance to achieve climate goals will be considerably reduced. Again, the citizens loose. But the EU bicycle assemblers have even this covered since they have very close and friendly ties with the European cyclists’ congregation. And as for the Commission, it is ironic how one DG issues a Green Deal to throw billions at green mobility, while another DG is assisting in the assassination of part of the sector that should produce that green mobility. A rather special interpretation of the Biblical saying: do not let your left hand know what your right hand does.

    In light of all the above, LEVA-EU is consulting with lawyers on the possible infringement of EU competition rules and on possible court actions.

    Annick Roetynck,
    LEVA-EU Manager

    Photo by Felix Mittermeier on Unsplash

  6. 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.


    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.

  7. Agressive Customs’ Actions against EU E-Bike Companies

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    Some time ago LEVA-EU has launched and appeal to report customs’ actions against e-bike companies. We have since received several reports on a variety of actions against European electric bicycle companies. 

    The allegations are quite diverse but include among other things:

    • Buying from a European supplier who is suspected of circumventing anti-dumping duties on electric bicycles from China
    • Using incorrect HS codes to avoid anti-circumvention duties on bicycle components
    • Illegal application of rules of origin for e-bikes that are produced outside the EU and China

    These reports have allowed us to get a clearer picture of the situation. We are currently taking legal advice as to how to respond to these actions. In the meantime, we herewith repeat our appeal. The more cases known to us, the better we can assess the situation and respond accurately.

    We are therefore calling again on European electric bike companies that have recently experienced a similar customs’ action, to report this to LEVA-EU. We do of course guarantee anonymity.

    Cases can be reported by phoning or mailing LEVA-EU Manager Annick Roetynck: +32 475 500 58, annick@leva-eu.com.

  8. Aggressive Customs’ Actions against EU E-Bike Companies

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    LEVA-EU has recently been informed on a variety of actions against European electric bicycle companies, in which EU customs authorities haven been particularly aggressive and invasive.

    The allegations are quite diverse but include among other things:

    • Buying from a European supplier who is suspected of circumventing anti-dumping duties on electric bicycles from China
    • Using incorrect HS codes to avoid anti-circumvention duties on bicycle components
    • Illegal application of rules of origin for e-bikes that are produced outside the EU and China

    In all these cases, there are serious doubts as to the legal basis for the EU customs’ approach and claims. LEVA-EU is currently seeking legal advice.

    In this framework, we need to know if there are more cases and if so, in which Member States. We are therefore calling on European electric bike companies that have recently experienced a similar customs’ action, to report this to LEVA-EU. We do of course guarantee anonymity.

    Cases can be reported by phoning or mailing LEVA-EU Manager Annick Roetynck: +32 475 500 58, 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.


    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.


    [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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