EU imposes tariffs on chemical imports to protect German firms


Fri, Apr 13, 2007 - Page 10

The EU imposed tariffs of as high as 67.4 percent on imports from the US, China and Taiwan of a chemical used for treating water and metals, seeking to protect German manufacturers including Degussa GmbH.

The EU said US, Chinese and Taiwanese peroxosulfate exporters including FMC Corp and DuPont Co sold in Europe below domestic prices or below the production cost, a practice known as dumping. The duties, which amount to 39 percent against FMC and 10.6 percent against DuPont, are for six months and may be prolonged for five years.

EU peroxosulfate producers that also include RheinPerChemie GmbH suffered "material injury" as a result of a "substantial increase" in imports at "very low and dumped prices" from the US, China and Taiwan, the European Commission, the 27-nation bloc's regulatory arm in Brussels, said yesterday. The levies, which are 22.6 percent against Taiwan and as much as 67.4 percent against China, take effect today.

The EU is seeking to stem imports from around the world of commodities including chemicals to shield higher-cost producers in Europe. The bloc uses punitive tariffs known as anti-dumping duties to try to prevent imports from undercutting European manufacturers.

China, Taiwan and the US increased their combined share of the EU peroxosulfate market to 30.2 percent in the 12 months through last June from 22.6 percent in 2003, according to the commission. China expanded its hold on the European market to 14.9 percent from 8.3 percent, Taiwan increased its share to 5.9 percent from 5.3 percent and the US raised its share to 9.3 percent from 9 percent over that period, the commission said.

The six-month anti-dumping duties follow a dumping complaint last May by European chemical industry lobby group Cefic and an investigation begun last July by the commission.

Under EU rules, the commission can introduce provisional anti-dumping duties for six months.