EU close to imposing anti-dumping duties on Chinese glass fiber

In a provisional vote, the European Union approved a 13.8 percent anti-dumping duty on glass fiber originating in China. Final vote will be taken by the EU in February.

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The European Composites Industry Association (EuCIA, Brussels, Belgium) reports that representatives of the EU27 Member States provisionally voted on the European Commission proposal for definitive anti-dumping duties on glass fiber originating in China. The Commission proposes definitive import duties of 13.8 percent, excluding yarns. The duties still have to be approved by the Council of the European Union in February. If approved by the Council of the European Union, the definitive import duties are effective March 17, 2011 for a period of five years.

The proposal followed  Commission Regulation 812/2010 imposing provisional import duties of 43.6 percent for a period of 6 months since the 17th of September 2010.

EuCIA and industry representatives welcomed a reduction of duties from 43.6 percent to 13.8 percent, but continued to highlight that even at 13.8 percent import duties remain harmful for European users and will trigger negative impacts on the employment and
innovation within the sector. A high number of major European users of glass fiber and associations across Europe jointly expressed their concerns about the investigation and questioned the provisional tariffs and the whole investigation as unfounded and whether it should have been initiated in the first place in December 2009.

Four EU Member States provisionally supported the imposition of definitive import duties, while most Member States abstained. Under  EU rules, that may ultimately be enough to impose the duties.

Commenting on the vote, Alexandre Dangis, managing director EuPC, noted, “It is surprising to see how the EU Executive body can pass its proposal through the Member States when only four countries support the duties in a Europe of 27-member States. The impact of this case on many SMEs has clearly been underestimated and not understood properly by the large number of EU Member States that abstained. I call on these Member State, the EU Commission and the Council of Ministers to review the proposal once again and terminate the investigation without any anti-dumping measures. Time is also ripe to review the Anti-dumping legal proceedings and the efficiency of the Trade Defence Instruments [TDI] to ensure that sectors with large SMEs are properly heard and defended when cases are affecting them.

Volker Fritz, EuCIA president added: “So far, we are satisfied with the results and everything possible was done to achieve the best outcome. The high reduction of duties from the initial phase and the low number of countries who supported this case showed that EuCIA was listened to during our meetings and is becoming more and more influential with the EU legislators. From the beginning, the objective was to protect the interests of the composites sector and to show the impacts of additional costs on SMEs. While the result in terms of duties was not fully accomplished – we are now clear about the overall situation of duties on our industry.”