Fri, Sep 04, 2009 - Page 11 News List

EU may tax PET material from several nations

BLOOMBERG

The EU threatened to impose tariffs against Iran, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates on a material used in plastic bottles, saying EU producers may be victims of subsidies and price undercutting.

The EU opened investigations into whether Iranian, Pakistani and UAE manufacturers of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) receive trade-distorting government aid and sell in the 27-nation bloc below cost. The product is also used in plastic films and fibers.

In 2007, the EU prolonged for five years anti-dumping duties on PET from India, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea, Thailand and Taiwan to protect European producers including La Seda de Barcelona SA in Europe’s 3 billion euro (US$4.3 billion) market. PET users include plastic-bottle mold makers such as Resilux NV and bottlers including Coca-Cola Co.

The new investigations will determine whether EU producers of PET have suffered “injury” as a result of any unfair Iranian, Pakistani and UAE competition, the European Commission, the EU’s trade authority in Brussels, said yesterday in the Official Journal.

The EU commission can impose provisional anti-subsidy duties for four months and provisional anti-dumping levies for six months. The EU’s national governments can turn those measures into “definitive” five-year duties at the same or different rates.

The commission has nine months from the start of an investigation to decide on provisional measures.

EU governments have 13 months from the beginning of a probe to impose five-year anti-subsidy duties and 15 months to impose definitive anti-dumping measures.

In addition to imposing anti-dumping duties on PET from India, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea, Thailand and Taiwan, the EU applies anti-subsidy levies on the product from India. Last month it decided to keep in place anti-dumping duties on PET from China.

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