Beneficial Actions to Bicycle Industry
This week, the European Commission will announce the definitive anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measures on the e-bike import from China. It ends a legal proceeding which took over 15 months.
With the 19 January 2019 statutory deadline approaching the European Bicycle Manufacturers Association (EBMA) fills in the final details, as explained to Bike Europe in a recent interview with Secretary General Moreno Fioravanti.
EBMA is representing companies in the bicycle, e-bike and component industry. Today EBMA has more than 100 hundred paying members, which represent some 50 percent of the European bicycle and e-bike production. This was acknowledged by the European Commission.
The European Commission has imposed provisional anti-dumping duties on e-bikes from China, with tariffs ranging from 21.8 to 79.3 percent(not including e-bike battery), depending on which factory produced the bikes.
All these efforts are aimed at saving the more than 90,000 jobs direct and indirect in the bicycle and e-bike industry at some 800 SME’s in Europe. The true is, the number of jobs as European importers who used to source in China is rising, and now they order their e-bikes at OEM assemblers in Europe.
“The re-shoring of e-bikes will significantly reduce the carbon footprint of e-bikes sold on the European market. A study by the Politecnico Milano has demonstrated that e-bikes made in China produce up to 123kg more CO2 and other dangerous emissions than the same bicycle made in the European Union.” Said Fioravanti.
Despite all measures initiated by the European Commission in connection with the anti-dumping proceedings, of which the first were announced on 20 October 2017, the e-bike imports from China are still booming – It has been 85 percent increasing in 2018 compared to 2017.
Is Dumping Duty an Imposition
LEVA-EU thinks the opposite.
Since July 2018 after the Eurobike show, LEVA-EU trade association announced they were suing the Commission over the anti-dumping process, which the group, called the Collective, said was being promoted by a group of large bike brands looking to defend their market position.
Annick Roetynck, LEVA-EU’s manager, spoke at a news conference at Eurobike. “There is no dumping.” She said, “This is being pushed by a limited number of companies trying to get a bigger piece of cake. ”
Many European e-bike brands have been working quickly in recent months to move their e-bike assembly out of China to other Asian countries or to Europe. Giant Manufacturing, for example, announced last week that it was investing in increased manufacturing and distribution facilities in Northern Hungary. Companies like the Czech Republic’s Apache Bicycles also are offering their European e-bike assembly services to other brands.
In December 2018, LEVA-EU has sent a letter regarding to this anti-dumping policy to European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström that has been signed by 87 European companies(with 1419 employees included) that are active in E-bike sector, requesting for a review of European Commission’s intentions. This request is being supported by another 27 European companies that are active in the E-bike sector but don’t import electric bicycles from China.
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. They considered the 79.3% duties on import as “an extremely severe punishment for unsubstantiated dumping allegations.”
Decision to Be Made
No matter what results come after, we can not speculate on what exactly is going at this moment.
One thing is for sure: According to the Collective’s estimates, The importers of electric bicycles are faced with tragic financial injury resulting from the proceeding which amounts to an average of €605,000 per company. Based on a very conservative assumption of around 150 importing companies in Europe, the total injury caused by the proceeding along already amounts to more than €90 million.
“This amount does not include provisional duties or potential retroactive collection.” Said the Collective of European Importers of Electric Bicycles.
On that note the European Bicycle Manufacturers’ Association (EBMA), that instigated the anti-dumping proceedings on e-bikes imported from China, told Bike Europe “We will do whatever it takes to avoid the illegal circumvention of the anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties by Chinese producers. But most importantly, there is absolutely no need for any circumvention practices in the first place. There are hundreds of SME e-bike producers in the EU that would welcome orders from traders and importers with open arms and EU consumers can benefit from high quality e-bikes with a lower carbon footprint at competitive prices. ”
Has the European Commission considered that there is evidence of significant damage caused to importers by all measures announced so far? Does all of this also mean that questions can be raised about the actual imposition of measures with high anti-dumping duties on 19 January 2019?
We will see.