EU biodiesel tariffs begin

By Kris Bevill | March 09, 2009
Web exclusive posted March 16, 2009, at 4:30 p.m. CST

The European Commission has formally announced its decision to apply temporary anti-dumping and anti-subsidy tariffs to all biodiesel produced in the United States. The commission's decision follows a nine-month investigation initiated by claims from the European Biodiesel Board that U.S.-produced biodiesel was being inserted into the European market at costs that made it impossible for European producers to compete.

According to EBB Secretary General Raffaello Garofalo, the board simply wanted to level the playing field between the two production giants and give European producers the chance to re-establish their industry. EU Trade spokesperson Lutz Guellner stated that the measures enacted by the commission "are about fighting unfair trade" and dismissed notions that the EU might be employing protectionism tactics. "This decision was taken on the basis of clear evidence that unfair subsidization and dumping of U.S. biodiesel has taken place, and that this is harming the otherwise competitive EU industry, with potentially dire long-term effects," Guellner said.

The dual tariffs became effective March 13 and will remain in place for four months while the commission continues to evaluate the situation. U.S. biodiesel producers will be required to pay between 211.20 (approximately $270) and 237 (approximately $300) per metric ton for the anti-subsidy duties. The anti-dumping measures will result in an additional charge of between 23.60 (approximately $30) and 208.20 (approximately $265) per metric ton. By July, the commission is expected to determine whether or not the EU should keep 'definitive' tariffs in place for an additional five years.

"We are about to get the proof that these provisional duties will hurt the European biodiesel industry much more than they will help," Said Boston-based biodiesel supplier World Energy Alternatives LLC's President and Chief Executive Officer Gene Gebolys. According to Gebolys, U.S. biodiesel has been used primarily as a blend stock for European-produced product and without it Europeans will experience higher-priced biodiesel. "I am confident that the Europeans will soon have all the evidence they need to conclude that their protectionist impulse must give way to more enlightened policies," he added.

For comments from the EBB, read "EBB: Europe's tariff will level the playing field."

To read the full text of the EU Commission's regulation, visit http://eur-lex.europa.eu/JOHtml.do?uri=OJ:L:2009:067:SOM:EN:HTML.
 
 
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