Anti-dumping duties wrongly imposed on ceramic tableware and kitchenware

Date

15 Nov 2012

Sections

Trade & Society

Today the EU Commission imposed provisional anti-dumping duties of up to 59% on ceramic tableware and kitchenware from China, disregarding the fact that a majority of Member States had opposed such a move.

The Foreign Trade Association and EuroCommerce who represent European retailers and importers in Europe condemned the move. “In a democratic society, it is not acceptable that the Commission can impose punitive duties under such circumstances”, said Jan Eggert and Christian Verschueren, the Directors-General of the FTA and EuroCommerce, referring to the vote taken at the Anti-Dumping Committee of 23 October, where only nine Member States were in favour. At this stage of an anti-dumping investigation, the vote by Member States is technically not binding on the Commission (unlike when a decision is taken to impose definitive duties). However, many commentators expressed surprise that the Commission had decided to go ahead with legislation.

Both Directors-General were concerned that SME importers would be hit particularly badly by the measures saying “the Commission claims that the duties can be absorbed into the supply chain. However, the gross margins it quotes to back up this claim are neither relevant, nor accurate, and the Commission should be aware that importers operate on very tight margins in a highly competitive marketplace.”

Aside from the impact on retailers and importers, both associations were concerned with the impact such measures would have on consumers as members had indicated that they may be forced to put up prices and/or reduce the range of product. Both Mr Verschueren and Mr Eggert said that “in such times of recession when we are all looking to save money, imposing duties on such a wide range of products that every family needs simply in order to protect a few players in the EU industry is short-sighted”.

The investigation is set to continue until the Commission is ready to decide whether definitive duties should be imposed. This decision is likely to arrive by April so that interested parties can submit comments and Member States can be consulted before the ultimate deadline of 16 May 2013. At that point duties could be imposed for a maximum of five years.

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For further information, please contact:

Marjolein Raes

Director of Advocacy & Communications

Tel: +32 2 737 05 99

raes@eurocommerce.be

EuroCommerce and the commerce sector

EuroCommerce represents the retail, wholesale and international trade sectors in Europe. Its membership includes commerce federations and companies in 31 European countries.

Commerce plays a unique role in the European economy, acting as the link between manufacturers and the nearly 500 million consumers across Europe over a billion times a day. It is a dynamic and labour-intensive sector, generating 11% of the EU’s GDP. One company out of three in Europe is active in the commerce sector. Over 99% of the 6 million companies in commerce are small and medium-sized enterprises. It also includes some of Europe’s most successful companies. The sector is a major source of employment creation: 33 million Europeans work in commerce, which is one of the few remaining job-creating activities in Europe. It also supports millions of dependent jobs throughout the supply chain from small local suppliers to international businesses.

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