EU's anti-dumping tariff on Taiwan-made bikes to expire in early 2004

Dec 02, 2003 Ι Industry In-Focus Ι General Items Ι By Quincy, CENS
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Taipei, Dec. 2, 2003 (CENS)--Taiwan will likely no longer be subject to a five-year anti-dumping tariff system levied by the European Union (EU) on bike exports to the market in late February next year, if everything goes smoothly.

The EU started levying anti-dumping tariffs on imports of Taiwan-made bicycles from February 1999 and the five-year punitive tariff program is expected to be scrapped as the union hasn't proposed any renewal of the program. Under the anti-dumping scheme, Taiwan-made bicycles exported to the EU are subject to extra tariff rates of 2.4% to 18.2%, with most of them facing an average additional tariff rate of 5.4%.

In May, the EU Executive Commission announced that the anti-dumping sanction on the imported bicycle products from Taiwan would expire on 26, February 2004. It also asked relevant European makers to hand out applications for reviewing the effects of such sanction and assess the feasibility of continuing the anti-dumping practice before 25 November. If there is no such application, the anti-dumping sanction will automatically become invalid on the expiry date.

A local bicycle maker said that the EU did not receive any application from makers in the region for continuing the trade sanction, and some local bike makers have received initial confirmation on the positive development from the bike makers association of the EU. Local bike makers are expected to soon receive an official notification from relevant trade authorities that they won't have to face the anti-dumping tariff system early next year, the maker said.

Statistics compiled by Taiwan Bicycle Exporters' Association (TBEA) show that Taiwan exported about 1.7 million bicycles, valued at around US$203 million, to the EU, accounting for 40.26% in volume and 38.86% in value of the island's total bike exports, respectively, last year. EU is currently the largest export market for Taiwan-made bikes, and the other two major markets are North America and Japan.

According to TBEA, Taiwan exported over 1.1 million bikes to EU in the first seven months of the year, up 14.27% from the same period of last year, with export value of over US$139 million, up 26.74%. During the same period, Taiwan's bike exports to EU accounted for 49% in volume and 43% in value of the island's total outbound shipments of bicycles.

According to the local bike association, EU started investigating Taiwan's bike exports to EU in late 1997 by choosing five sample companies, announced investigation results in late August 1998, and began levying the anti-dumping tariffs on imports of Taiwan-made bicycle products in early 1999.

Most local bike makers are happy with the termination of the anti-dumping tariff system and expect to enjoy higher competitiveness and profit margins in the European market in the future.

Industry sources said that Taiwan's bicycle exports would face similar trade sanctions from Canada, Argentina and Mexico, but the impact would be much smaller as the volume of bikes exported to the three markets is relatively minor.

The sources added that mainland China's bike makers are still levied a 30.6% anti-dumping tariff in EU and the sanction would expire in May 2005. Whether the mainland will continue facing the anti-dumping sanction after its expiration will become a focus of attention from global bike suppliers.
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