EBB: Europe's tariff will level playing field

By Kris Bevill | February 10, 2009
Web exclusive posted March 4, 2009, at 11:16 a.m. CST

A meeting held March 3 by the EU Anti-Dumping Committee could soon result in a decision to impose tariffs on U.S.-produced biodiesel, according to European Biodiesel Board Secretary General Raffaello Garofalo. "There are reasonable chances, reasonable signs, that an anti-subsidy, anti-dumping duty will be published in the next day," he said. It's up to the EU Commission to publish a definitive confirmation, but all indications are that tariffs of varying rates will be imposed on U.S. biodiesel beginning March 13. U.S. biodiesel companies will then be required to pay up to 41 (approximately $51) for every 100 kilograms of biodiesel exported to Europe.

Garofalo told Biodiesel Magazine that the EBB initiated the anti-dumping duty conversation last year. "The fact that our case looks very close to being accepted proves that our complaint was well-grounded," he said. A tariff on U.S.-produced biodiesel will "finally re-establish the level playing field that our European producers have long awaited."

The EBB claims that U.S. producers exported more than 1.5 million metric tons of biodiesel to Europe in 2008, up 40 percent from the previous year. A tariff on U.S. biodiesel could widely affect the industry. For now, U.S. producers are keeping a quiet eye on the happenings in Europe. A spokesman for Cargill Inc., which operates biodiesel production facilities in both the U.S. and Europe, said that Cargill believes any biodiesel trade disputes "should be resolved in a way that provides equity for all countries and all biofuels trade participants." U.S.-based biodiesel production giant Archer Daniels Midland Co. declined to comment for this story.

Garofalo asserted that the EBB does not hold a grudge against U.S. biodiesel producers. "It's good if biodiesel is supported everywhere worldwide," he said. "But it should not be supported for exporting at dumping price to Europe. U.S. biofuels were flooding Europe and in some cases U.S. biodiesel was being sold in Europe at a lower price than the soybean oil itself. This is something that we do not accept. This [tariff] will put an end to an unacceptable situation."
 
 
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