Tag Archive: import

  1. US legislators introduce de minimis reform bill

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    Source: Bicycle Retailer and Industry News

    Senate legislation has been introduced in Washington to restrict non-market economies, for example China, from using the de minimis threshold to import products, including e-bikes and lithium-ion batteries, that are potentially unsafe for the US market

    The Import Security and Fairness Act was submitted by reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Neal Dunn (R-Fla.), and Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and follows the original bill passed in January 2022 that strives to keep economies from taking advantage of the $800 de minimis threshold. Already an estimated two million packages enter the US under that threshold on a daily basis, without inspection, duties, and taxes, including e-bikes and lithium-ion batteries.

    Lithium-ion batteries and unregulated e-bikes regularly enter the US, through the direct-to-consumer retail stream.

    Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade member, Earl Blumenauer, commented, “The de minimis loophole is a threat to American competitiveness, consumer safety, and basic human rights,” further mentioning, “It is used by primarily Chinese companies to ship over two million packages a day into the United States. It puts American businesses at a competitive disadvantage while flooding American consumers with undoubtedly harmful products. There is virtually no way to tell whether packages that come in under the de minimis limit contain products made with forced labor, intellectual property theft, or are otherwise dangerous. It is time to close this loophole once and for all.”

    Under the Import Security and Fairness Act, Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) would be required to collect more information on all de minimis shipments whilst paying close attention to those importing the products, prohibiting any that have been suspended or debarred from using the rule.

    Because off-shore retailers are out of reach from the US government and the legal system, products entering under the de minimis rule can also avoid Product Safety Commission regulations. Blumenauer suggested that some importers use strategies such as “creative invoicing” in which haulers and manufacturers adjust invoice values to below $800.

    Blumenauer went on to say, “Part of what’s happening with the ‘creative invoicing’ is we see an explosion — and I use that term advisedly — of e-bikes that are $799, and we’ve had a number of problems because they have defective batteries, especially in New York, but in other places.

    “I think there are a series of steps that need to be taken to deal with what is a genuine threat to public safety as well as unfair competition.”

    The legislation has been endorsed by a number of leading US organisations and think tanks.

  2. 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
    United Kingdom5,2585,37810,418+93.7%
    Total non-EU993,6631,091,610763,855-30%

    Average value of non-EU imports

    Country201720182019Change 2019/2018
    United Kingdom352581438-24.6%
    Total non-EU543602831+38%

    Intra-EU imports


    Average value of EU-imports

  3. Taiwan E-bike Sector News

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    Taiwan’s Ministry of finance reported staggering export numbers of its e-bike industry. The industry exported a volume of 452,000 e-bikes in the first 9 months of 2019, which is a growth of 131.4% compared to last year. Just as the volume, the total value has grown remarkably to $591 billion (€530 billion), resulting in a plus of 119.51%. However, the average price of a Taiwanese e-bike dropped to 1,307.59$ (€1.175), a 5,2% down compared to last year.

    Biggest importer of e-bikes from Taiwan is the Netherlands, who replaced the USA this year. When combining both conventional and e-bike  exports from Taiwan, the Netherlands is the biggest customer, followed by the USA, Germany, United Kingdom and Spain.

    Sources: Bikebiz & Bike-EU

    Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

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