BRUSSELS—As a prelude to possible antidumping action, the European Commission has begun registering new and retreaded truck and bus tires imported to the European Union from China.
The move—which took effect Feb. 3—is part of the Commission's investigation into whether antidumping activities are taking place in the market. If confirmed, the Commission will take antidumping measures against those imports, according to a report in the Feb. 2 Official Journal of the EU.
"Should the investigation result in findings leading to the imposition of antidumping and/or countervailing duties, those duties can, if the necessary conditions are fulfilled, be levied retroactively on the registered imports in accordance with the applicable legal provisions," the Commission added.
The antidumping proceeding was initiated by the Commission in August last year, following a complaint lodged by the "coalition against unfair tires imports."
The coalition, which represents more than 45 percent of the EU production of new and retreaded truck and bus tires, claims that dumping margins range between 74 and 152 percent.
According to the EU journal report, the Commission has concluded that "there is sufficient evidence to justify such actions."
The EC said that it had, at its disposal, sufficient evidence that imports of the product concerned from China were being subsidized.
The alleged subsidy practices consist namely of direct transfer of funds and potential direct transfers of funds or liabilities, government revenue forgone or not collected, and government provision of goods or services for less than adequate remuneration.
Other examples include VAT exemption, import tariff rebates and preferential loans.
"Therefore, the available evidence at this stage tends to indicate that the exports of the product concerned are benefiting from countervailable subsidies," the EC said.
According to the "coalition against unfair tires imports," the volume of Chinese truck and bus tires rose 14.3 percent from April to September 2017, when compared to the same period in 2016.
Latest Eurostat figures indicate that imports of light truck tires and truck tires from China to Europe nearly quadrupled to 4.37 million units in 2016 from 1.4 million units in 2010.
The data also indicate that import levels for 2017 will be on a par with 2016 if not higher. Imports of truck tires from China into Europe through the end of June more than doubled to 2.4 million units compared with the first half of 2016.
According to publicly available Eurostat statistics, the report states, the unit value of imports from China was 38 percent lower than imports from other origins between April and September 2017.