PARIS (Reuters) - The European Commission has proposed reinstating anti-subsidy duties on imports of Argentine biodiesel after massive shipments of cheap biodiesel from Latin America into the European Union threatened its industry, an EU document seen by Reuters shows.
The plan follows an investigation requested by EU producers of fuels made from vegetable and recycled oil, which have been hit hard by cheap imports since the EU slashed duties last year in response to a ruling by the World Trade Organization.
The proposal needs to be approved by EU member states.
The European Commission decided not to reinstate provisional import tariffs on Argentine biodiesel in September, though it considered imports were subsidised and a threat to the EU industry, saying it needed to collect further information.
“On the basis of the conclusions reached by the Commission...a definitive countervailing duty should be imposed to prevent the materialisation of the imminent threat of material injury caused to the Union industry by the subsidised imports,” the Commission said in its proposal.
Proposed duties range from 25.0 percent to 33.4 percent depending on companies, the document showed.
The EU’s removal of duties on low-price biodiesel from Argentina, as well as from Indonesia, last September and subsequent surge in imports has forced European producers to cut production.
“Even if this still needs to be confirmed by member states it is good news for the industry,” European Biodiesel Board Chairwoman Kristell Guizouarn told Reuters.
Reporting by Gus Trompiz and Sybille de La Hamaide; Editing by Mark Potter and Peter Graff