Tag Archive: ebma

  1. LEVA-EU calls on EU assemblers for support to end dumping duties on bicycle parts

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    The anti-dumping measures on conventional bicycles from China are to expire on the 30th August 2024. The measures are now in their 31st year. In 1997, they were extended to essential bicycle components based on alleged circumvention. Those measures are now in their 27th year.

    There is no doubt that EBMA has already or will very soon request the Commission to review the measures against conventional bikes with a view to continuing them for another 5 years. To gather the necessary support for their request, they visit bike assemblers up and down the continent, inviting them to co-sign the request for the review. In doing so, they will undoubtedly explain how it is necessary to continue the measures to avoid Europe being flooded with cheap Chinese bicycles, which would undoubtedly destroy European assemblers. They will add that the measures will allow production to be brought back to Europe and will create jobs.

    The other half of the story

    However, that is only half the story. LEVA-EU hereby invites all European assemblers to think carefully before explicitly expressing their support for EBMA’s request. After all, the other half of the story goes like this.

    The anti-dumping measures against bicycles from China were expanded in 1997 to include essential bicycle parts. Anyone who assembles in Europe must be able to prove that no more than 59% of the value of their components comes from China or that at least 25% value is added in the assembly. Anyone who can prove this will receive an exemption from the European Commission, meaning that 48.5% duties will not be levied on bicycle frames, forks, gears, sprockets, brakes, wheels and handlebars from China.

    When ADD and ASD were levied on electric bicycles in 2018, this had a major impact on the duties on essential bicycle parts. European assemblers who use essential bicycle parts for electric bicycles could also receive an exemption if they proved that they used the parts for electric and not for regular bicycles. Please note that the Commission has not (yet) extended the rights to essential bicycle parts for the European assembly of electric bicycles. Many European assemblers make electric bicycles of which the value of the components amounts to more than 59%. In some cases, the electric bicycles even consist of 100% Chinese components. The European assembly sector cannot do without these Chinese components because the availability of parts outside China is too limited to meet full demand.

    To circumvent or not to circumvent, that is the question.

    The EBMA’s request to the Commission to extend the duties on bikes to essential bicycle components, came almost immediately after the imposition of the duties on bikes, alleging massive circumvention by China. In the case of electric bicycles however, EBMA misses no opportunity to assure European assemblers that they can use as many Chinese parts as they want. And so, companies are happily assembling in a way that, according to the law, can very easily give rise to anti-circumvention measures.

    It is bizarre, to say the least, that while the European Commission responded to EBMA’s request without hesitation for conventional bicycles, the same Commission now simply ignores the situation, even though they could initiate an investigation at their own initiative. After all, why would the Chinese, accused of massive circumvention for conventional bikes, not resort to the same solution for electric bicycles.

    LEVA-EU calls on all assemblers in the EU to treat the EBMA reassurances with utmost caution. In reality, not everyone who assembles in Europe appears to be safe, as EBMA pretends. While the Commission is not currently interested in possible circumvention, some assemblers have indeed been attacked, more specifically by customs services. They determine that insufficient value is added in the assembly, upon which they categorize the import of parts as the import of a complete electric bicycle to which anti-dumping and anti-circumvention duties apply. With this alleged circumvention, the company is committing a criminal offense for which not only arrears are charged, but also extremely heavy fines and possible prison sentences. It will take 5 to 10 years to reach a conclusion in the case. During that period, given the extremely serious threat, it is impossible for the company to grow even if it is ultimately acquitted.

    Pushing businesses straight into the abyss

    So, when you sign certain EBMA requests to the Commission, which are allegedly intended against China and for Europe, keep in mind that this will not necessarily protect you from customs actions that may push your business straight into the abyss. As mentioned, LEVA-EU has no position on the dumping measures against conventional bicycles. As for the extension of the measures to essential bicycle parts, we say loud and clear: in the interests of European assemblers, these measures must be terminated as quickly as possible. No European company benefits from a legal restriction on the use of Chinese parts, nor from a very complex and expensive administration to enforce that restriction.

    LEVA-EU strongly hopes that European assemblers will consider this call and will no longer support EBMA requests that result in the continuation of the additional measures on essential bicycle parts from China.

    There is another important reason to terminate the duties on essential bicycle parts. That legislation makes it virtually impossible for new electric bicycle assemblers to enter the market. To obtain a Commission exemption or end-use approval, they must first pay 48.5% anti-dumping duties on essential bicycle parts from China. This is completely unacceptable because legally there are no anti-dumping duties on essential bicycle parts for electric bicycles.

    Which start-up can afford to include an additional cost of 48.5%, that serves no purpose and even has no legal basis, in their business plan? And to get rid of that 48.5%, which is not reimbursed in the case of end-use authorizations, they must provide significant guarantees!

    This makes EBMA’s claim that anti-dumping measures against electric bicycles from China are necessary to reshore production and to create jobs an outright lie. You may think that it is a good thing for your company if it is difficult for new companies to enter the market. Restriction of competition inevitably results in a reduced, thus less attractive offer and higher prices that ultimately leads consumers to quit. That response will eventually affect all remaining companies, including yours.

    LEVA-EU acknowledges that this is a complex matter and remain therefore at the disposal of anyone seeking further clarification: annick@leva-eu.com, tel. +32 475 500 588.

    Photo by Lance Grandahl on Unsplash

  2. LEVA-EU calls for evidence of damage to EU e-bike companies by dumping measures

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    The Commission has announced the expiry of the measures against electric bicycles from China in the Official Journal. LEVA-EU is anticipating a review and potential renewal of the measures. In the meantime, the Kafkaesque legislation and the multiple actions by national customs services and OLAF, cause unacceptable disruption and damage to many European companies. Ahead of the review, LEVA-EU calls on all companies affected by the measures for evidence.

    In the EU Official Journal of 2 May, the European Commission has published a notice of the impending expiry of the anti-dumping and countervailing measures against electric bicycles from China. This notice only results from normal procedural rules. The deadline for the current measures is 19 January 2024. Article 11.2 of the basic Dumping Regulation stipulates: “A definitive anti-dumping measure shall expire five years from its imposition (…), unless it is determined in a review that the expiry would be likely to lead to a continuation or recurrence of dumping and injury. Such an expiry review shall be initiated on the initiative of the Commission, or upon a request made by or on behalf of Union producers, and the measure shall remain in force pending the outcome of that review.

    It seems a foregone conclusion that EBMA will request a review. However, the main question is what arguments the organisation will use to extend the measures for another five years.

    In the past 4.5 years, EBMA has developed a surging discours on bringing industry back to Europe and especially on the large number of jobs that will come with it. The whole campaign culminated in a European Parliament Motion for a resolution on developing an EU cycling strategy which, very triumphantly announced that “the EU cycling ecosystem can scale up to 2 million jobs by 2030”.

    Much, of course, depends on the definition of the ‘EU cycling ecosystem”, but the fact is that we are still very far from those targeted two million jobs. In a report on employment in the (e)bike business, CONEBI concluded that there were 155,00 jobs in 2021. Incidentally, it appears that the violins in the (e)bike business are not quite tuned in unison. In their 2022 market report, the German (e)bike industry association stated: “The ZIV anticipate no large-scale relocation of production (reshoring) to Europe at the current time. However, it does expect production in The EU to grow in importance.

    And, contrary to what EBMA might claim, the anti-dumping measures are all but helpful to achieve the objective of 2 million jobs, since they are a major obstacle in starting up new companies, whilst causing extensive damage to existing companies in the European Union.

    EBMA shouts so loudly that the measures are absolutely necessary for “reshoring for better sustainability, more EU green jobs and EU investments/innovation”, that everyone, including the EU authorities seem to forget what dumping is really about. It is of course not about reshoring, green jobs nor about investments or innovation. The WTO defines dumping as “in general, a situation of international price discrimination, where the price of a product when sold in the importing country is less than the price of that product in the market of the exporting country.” Another important element of dumping is the injury it causes to the EU-industry. And here lies the crux of the matter: what is the European ebike industry? In the end, everyone does the same thing: buying parts and assembling them into electric bikes. The net result of the measures against China however is that one part of the European ebike “industry” proffers from the measures, while another part is getting severely injured.

    The anti-dumping measures on electric bicycles from China have nothing to do with “a situation of international price discrimination“. They prove to be a huge barrier for those European companies that have had to find an alternative to assembly in China and equally for all those trying to start a new e-bike business in Europe since the introduction of the measures.

    As for assembly in Europe, anti-dumping measures have become completely intertwined with the extension of anti-dumping measures on bicycle parts from China. Furthermore, the Commission has created a highly discriminatory legal distinction between companies that assemble both conventional and electric bicycles and those that assemble electric bikes only. Furthermore, the Commission has recently made it quite a bit more difficult to obtain an exemption for assembly of conventional and electric bicycles. The entire legislation is so complex that no manufacturer can be assumed to understand the rules on their own. Start-ups are forced to pay anti-dumping duties on electric bike components for quite a while, before obtaining the necessary authorization to be released from duties on components. Who can afford this?

    However, after having paid duties on e-bike components, which according to Sabine Weyand, Director General of DG Trade are not subject to anti-dumping duties, they are then subject to extensive financial guarantees.  In addition, shortly after introducing dumping duties on e-bikes from China, the European Commission also changed the rules of origin for imports of electric bikes from non-preferential origin countries overnight.

    In the meantime, both national customs authorities and OLAF are constantly investigating companies, electric bike imports and assembling facilities in and outside Europe. The companies involved usually have no idea what they are suspected/accused of, nor are they given any information about the progress of the case. Some, meanwhile, have been waiting for news for three years and live with the threat of fines that may push them into bankruptcy, sometimes even imprisonment!

    LEVA-EU has been working relentlessly to explain all legislation pertaining to this e-bike case. In meetings with the European Commission, we have explained the many aberrations an discrimination in the rules, the net result of which being that it’s virtually impossible to start-up a new e-bike business in Europe, while many existing businesses are under threat due to unfair rules. Ahead of the review, we will continue to do so. To this end, we want to draw up an inventory of as many cases as possible of European companies that are being investigated by customs and/or OLAF.

    So, are you or have you been investigated by customs and/or OLAF and are you or have you been accused of for instance:

    • Buying from a European supplier who is suspected of circumventing anti-dumping duties on electric bicycles from China
    • Not paying anti-dumping duties on bike components for e-bike assembly
    • Using incorrect HS codes to avoid anti-circumvention duties on bicycle components
    • Assembling in the EU or buying from an assembler without an exemption or end-use authorization
    • Illegal application of rules of origin for e-bikes that are produced outside the EU and China

    We kindly request you to report your problems to LEVA-EU. We guarantee absolute confidentiality. Cases may be reported to LEVA-EU Manager Annick Roetynck by phone, +32 475 500 588 or by mail, annick@leva-eu.com. Alternatively, you can also book an appointment at the forthcoming Eurobike, here: https://calendly.com/annick_leva-eu/eurobike-meeting

    Photo by John Simmons on Unsplash

  3. 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

  4. European Commission’s duties on e-bikes to destroy European SMEs

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    Last week’s General Disclosure Document outlines duties of up to 79.3% ad valorem for e-bikes imported from China. The move will threaten further development of clean mobility, lead to supply shortages and price increases, and destroy the livelihood of
    dozens of European importing SMEs.

    The Commission’s draft decision (GDD) constitutes the preamble to definitive duties due before the end of the year. LEVA-EU and the Collective of European Importers of Electric Bicycles have systematically decried this unfair and absurd case rigged with several
    fundamental inconsistencies:

    •  There is no proof of injury, and the threat of injury does not justify the imposition of duties. The Commission examined the EU industry performance in the period 2014-2017, finding +28% production volume, +34% production capacity, +20% sales volumes, +40% employment for the EU industry (GDD pp. 14-16). The loss of market share is the only argument the Commission would have, but this
      argument is based on allegedly illegally obtained Chinese statistics.
    • The Commission will hit dozens of European SMEs for the minimal profit increase of European manufacturers. The only reason why the Commission is imposing the duties is because the European e-bike industry had a profitability of 3.4% in 2017, instead of 4.3%, which is a target profit randomly decided on by the Commission (GDD Recital 165). What’s more, the Commission openly states (GDD Recital 141) its willingness to sacrifice what they call “small importers” for this purpose.
    • There is a wilful misinterpretation of survey data by the Commission. An online survey conducted by LEVA-EU showed that the proceedings were causing EU importers considerable damage. LEVA-EU collected further and more detailed information on this damage from 14 European importers in the Collective. From all this, LEVA-EU estimated that the ongoing proceedings alone had caused the European importers €90 to €100 million unanticipated costs on top of the provisional duties. This was presented to the Commission at a hearing, but in the GDD the Commission published a completely false report on these surveys. This allowed the
      Commission to come to the distorted conclusion that adverse effects on importers would be mitigated by the availability of e-bikes from other markets (GDD Recital 138), a fundamentally flawed conclusion.

    LEVA-EU Manager Annick Roetynck stated: “We strongly condemn the Commission’s findings. This case was started because EU “manufacturers” are unable to cope with changing distribution patterns and growing competition. They are only looking to close the
    market, and the Commission is helping them even though there is no dumping and clearly no injury to European manufacturers. If the Commission goes ahead with the proposed duties, this will exacerbate the damage already done to European importers and mark the
    start of dark days for the whole European electric bicycle sector, EU climate targets, and for all EU citizens who are using or intend to use an electric bike.

  5. Dumping case: EBMA’s fake news, alternative facts and false allegations

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    In a jubilant press release, EBMA welcomes the Commission’s intention to impose duties as the right measures to stop “injury to European e-bike manufacturers, as Chinese e-bikes have flooded the EU at an alarming rate and artificially low prices”. This is the introduction to a stream of fake news.

    According to EBMA, “the concealed costs of Chinese e-bikes and the injury to European industry and jobs are now revealed. Definitive trade defence measures will shield 90,000 EU workers and over 800 SME’s against unfair competition from China.

    The EBMA membership list published in 2013 in the Belgian Official Journal held 17 companies, none of them SME’s (<250 staff). Some of these companies don’t produce electric bicycles, others import electric bicycles from China and some have ceased to exist. That is who EBMA is representing, not even all 31 producers identified by the Commission as the Community Industry (Recital 65). EBMA has no right to speak in the name of “90,000 EU workers and over 800 SME’s” for the simple reason that there are no 90,000 workers and over 800 SME’s in the EU electric bike business.

    The SME’s are on the importing and distributing side. There may be a few companies with more than 250 employees importing electric bicycles from China, but not many, the absolute majority are SME’s and according to our estimates there are around 150 importers.

    EBMA’s fake news mentioning 90,000 EU workers and over 800 SMEs is completely in line with the collection of alternative facts that made up the complaint. The complainants are unknown; their identity had to be kept confidential to protect them from unknown risks and dangers. The dumping was established based on presumably illegally obtained statistics. The source of these statistics had to be kept confidential to protect the provider from unknown risks and dangers. These statistics allowed establishing a shrinking market share for the Union Industry. That shrinking market share is the only injury that could be established. All other economic performance indicators for the Union Industry were up.

    Another mind blowing statement in the press release is that “Even, the European Cyclists’ Federation representing consumers is against dumping because of its negative role in the development of electric bicycles, and as a consequence on the transition to a greener Europe.” In other words, the association representing European consumers agrees with measures that will reduce the offer, increase the prices and get in the way of innovation? We can only hope that ECF has checked out the proceedings properly to ensure that dumping + injury are real. And we also hope that EBMA has carefully consulted with ECF before making this remarkable position public.

    The Commission’s Disclosure Document also discloses astonishing false allegations by EBMA. Recital 28 is about whether electric bicycles with assistance up to 45 km/h (speed pedelecs) should be excluded from the product scope. EBMA claims that electric bicycles with assistance up to 45 km/h (speed pedelecs) must be included in the product scope because otherwise a “massive risk of circumvention of anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measures” may arise. These allegations are aimed at “economic operators (importers, traders)”, who may well import speed pedelecs and subsequently alter their software to limit them to 25 km/h.

    EBMA’s allegations addressed at importers and traders are intellectually dishonest, totally outrageous and grotesque. The most outrageous and grotesque aspect of the allegations is that EBMA, even before the final decision of the Commission in the anti-subsidy and anti-dumping proceedings, has the guts to insinuate that importers and traders will be circumventing. It is intellectually dishonest because speed pedelecs and electric bicycles with pedal assistance up to 25 km/h are subject to two sets of very different, technical requirements. Building a speed pedelec following one set of technical rules and then put it on the market as a 25 km/h conforming with another set,  can by no means ever be profitable.

    This concludes our anthology of fake news, alternative facts and fake allegations as produced by EBMA in this case.

  6. Dark days ahead as EU Commission discloses intention to impose duties

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    The Commission has sent the disclosure document for the anti-dumping proceedings to all interested parties, including the European Collective of Importers of Electric Bicycles. This document does not hold a final decision yet, but outlines what the Commission intends to do.

    In the disclosure document, the Commission is announcing the imposition of anti-dumping duties as listed in the table at the end of this article.

    With that, the Commission intends to accept EBMA’s request to withdraw registration and therefore not to pursue the retro-active collection of duties. However, this will only be 100% confirmed when the final Regulation on the case is published.

    Provisional duties will be collected from 18 July onwards, but only to the level of proposed duties, which is lower than the provisional duties.

    All interested parties can send comments to the Commission on this disclosure document until 12 o’clock on 26 November.

    The Collective of European Importers of Electric Bicycles will comment on the content of this disclosure document upon careful analysis. However, the Collective already wishes to state now that if the Commission is to go ahead with the proposed anti-dumping duties, this will exacerbate the damage already done to European importers and mark the start of dark days for the whole European electric bicycle sector and for all EU citizens who are using or intend to use an electric bike.

    The disclosure document is here: https://bit.ly/2Drh6C6

    Table 6 – Definitive measures

    Company Injury elimination level
    Bodo Vehicle Group Co., Ltd. 73,4 %
    Giant Electric Vehicle (Kunshan) Co., Ltd; 24,8 %
    Jinhua Vision Industry Co., Ltd and Yongkang Hulong Electric Vehicle Co., Ltd. 18,8 %
    Suzhou    Rununion    Motivity Co., Ltd. 79,3 %
    Yadea Technology Group Co., Ltd 62,9 %
    Other co-operating companies in the anti-dumping investigation which also co- operate but were not sampled in the parallel anti-subsidy investigation (Annex I) 33,5 %
    Other co-operating companies in the anti-dumping investigation, but not cooperating in the parallel

    anti-subsidy investigation (Annex II)

    33,5 %
    Non-cooperating companies in the anti-dumping investigation, but cooperating in the parallel

    anti-subsidy investigation (Annex III)

    79,3 %
    All other companies 79,3 %
  7. Urgent appeal to all importers hit by registration in China dumping case

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    If your company has imported electric bicycles from China between 4 May and 18 July, then you could potentially be subject to retroactive collection. Even though EBMA has withdrawn its request for registration, the Commission still has the competence to apply retroactive collection of duties. The Commission must annul the registration by a separate measure to stop the process. However, the Commission plans only to consider the request “in the final assessment of this case“. This means that the threat of retroactive collection continues for all companies having imported electric bicycles from China between 4 May and 18 July.

    A while ago, two members of the Collective have initiated a lawsuit against the Commission’s decision on registration. This lawsuit has been officially published in the European Official Journal of 24 September. The Collective is continuing this court application against registration, since it is the only solution to offer importers the best possible protection from retroactive collection.

    Should the court case prove to be necessary and successful, only companies that have come forward as intervenors will be able to obtain exemption from the retroactive collection of duties. That is why the Collective is giving importers, who may get hit by registration and are not part of the Collective, the opportunity to join the legal initiative by coming forward as intervenors. 

    LEVA-EU strongly recommends all companies, having imported from China between 4 May and 18 July, to come forward as an intervenor in the lawsuit against the Commission. Companies who wish to join this initiative should immediately contact LEVA-EU Manager, Annick Roetynck, (tel. +32 9 233 60 05 , email leva-eu@telenet.be) for further information on the terms and conditions to become an intervenor. They will need to provide some documents by 29 October.

  8. EBMA withdraws registration request in dumping case

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    In a letter, dated 8 October, the European Bicycle Manufacturers’ Assocation (EBMA) has informed the European Commisson that they wish to withdraw their request for registration of imports.

    EBMA had introduced this request earlier this year, upon which the Commission published a Regulation on 2 May 2018 in which they confirmed the registration. This created the possibility for retroactive collection of duties between 4 May and 19 July 2018. In that period quite a number of European companies still had containers on the water. To them, the potential retroactive collection of duties hung like a sword of Damocles over their head.

    To officially end the registration, the Commission must publish a new Regulation. That publication would finally put an end to potential retroactive collection, which would come as a huge relief to many companies in Europe.

    The EBMA letter comes shortly after the third hearing the Collective of European Importers of Electric Bicycles had with the Commission. In that hearing, they presented the Collective’s calculations on the injury to importers directly resulting from the proceeding itself. According to the Collective’s estimates, that injury amounts to an average of € 605,000 per company. Based on a very conservative assumption of around 150 importing companies in Europe, that would mean that the total injury caused by the proceedings alone already amounts to more than € 90 million. This amount does not include provisional duties or potential retroactive collection.

    It is unclear whether there is a link between the Collective’s statements on injury at the hearing and EBMA’s decision to withdraw the request for registration. It will, in any case, come as a great relief for many companies.

  9. European Commission slams provisional anti-dumping duties of up to 83.6% on e-bike imports from China

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    LEVA-EU and the Collective of Importers deeply regrets Brussels’ decision to impose provisional duties which may well deal a decisive blow to several European companies in the e-bike market, limiting consumer’s choice and forcing Europeans to foot the bill.

    A final decision on definitive duties, whether or not to be retroactively collected is expected around the end of this year. LEVA-EU and the Collective are determined to continue to fight this case. LEVA-EU Manager Annick Roetynck states: “This is only one battle lost,  we haven’t lost the war. From our first analysis, we conclude that the Regulation holds many inconsistencies and omissions. All these will be thoroughly addressed in the Collective’s official response to the Regulation.

    What’s happening? Following a complaint brought by the European Bicycle Manufacturer’s Association (EBMA) on 8 September, the European Commission opened an investigation into imports of e-bikes from China on 20 October 2017. This complaint as well as the procedure are heavily contested by a Collective of 22 importers, managed by LEVA-EU. Since 4 May 2018, the European Commission imposed the registration of all new e-bike imports with the competent custom authorities. The imposition of today’s provisional duties of up to 83.6% opens the door to definitive duties, that could be imposed around the end of this year and which may or may not be collected retroactively from the registration date onward.

    The Commission’s provisional duties are absurd as so far no evidence of dumping has been established:

    • The complainant has failed to prove any injury to the European e-bike industry. All so-called European manufacturers have seen double digit growth over the last few years and are bound to continue profiting from this expanding market.
    • Most e-bike components are imported from China, and then only assembled by European “manufacturers”. This assembly procedure amounts to €25 to €35, and that is the only difference between so-called European “manufacturers” and “importers”.

    The Commission will only decide if and what proportion shall be collected in its final decision. However the registration, which includes the threat of retroactive collections, already has a devastating effect on European e-bike businesses and on jobs, and will only be exacerbated by the provisional duties. Since the registration European importers are in turmoil, left with total uncertainty as to what to base on their short and longer term business plans. Many of these companies may find it difficult if not impossible to obtain the bank guarantee, necessary to avoid effective payment of provisional duties.

    Annick Roetynck, LEVA-EU Manager, said: “This is a clear case of abuse of trade defence instruments for protectionist reasons, and importers have been punished before a verdict has even been reached. This baseless and opaque procedure is severely injuring many small and medium sized European businesses as well as the growing e-bike market in Europe. We filed an application for annulment of the registration regulation with the General Court of the EU on Tuesday 10 July. Nevertheless, the Commission seems to be determined to go ahead with this procedure and working towards the impositions of definitive duties, despite having violated the importers’ due process on several occasions already.

    The Regulation on provisional duties is here: http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2018/july/tradoc_157124.prov.en.L181-2018.pdf

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