January 18, 2019 / 10:28 AM / 10 months ago

EU to hit Chinese e-bikes imports with tariffs

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union will impose duties from Saturday on Chinese electric bicycles to curb cheap imports which European producers say benefit from unfair subsidies and are flooding the market.

E-bikes coming from China will be subject to tariffs of between 18.8 and 79.3 percent, a filing in the EU’s official journal said on Friday, in line with European Commission proposal on which EU countries voted in December.

The anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties are the latest in a series of EU measures against Chinese exports ranging from solar panels to steel, which have sparked strong words from Beijing.

The Commission found Chinese exports of e-bikes to the European Union more than tripled from 2014 until September 2017. Their market share rose to 35 percent, while their average prices fell by 11 percent.

It has also said Chinese producers benefit from controlled aluminium prices as well as advantageous financing and land rights conditions and tax breaks.

Taiwan’s Giant, one of the world’s largest bicycle makers, which has factories in China as well as in the Netherlands, would be subject to a rate of 24.8 percent.

EU producers include Dutch groups Accell and Gazelle, Romania’s Eurosport DHS and Germany’s Derby Cycle Holding.

The European Bicycle Manufacturers Association said it applauded the move that it said would shield 800 small and medium sized companies employing 90,000 people.

However, it warned that Chinese e-bike manufacturers were already making their way to Europe via third countries where they were being repackaged.

LEVA-EU, a group including importers opposed to duties, said the tariffs were protectionist and absurd, saying they would hit consumers and other smaller European companies and went against the EU’s climate change goals.

Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky

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