| BRUSSELS, Sept 26
BRUSSELS, Sept 26 The European Commission is
investigating whether Chinese bicycle makers are dodging
European anti-dumping duties by routing shipments through third
countries, the EU executive body said on Wednesday.
There has been evidence that tariffs imposed from last
October have been avoided by shipping Chinese bicycles through
Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Tunisia, the Commission said
in the EU Official Journal.
The investigation will also examine whether bicycle assembly
operations using Chinese bike parts have moved to Indonesia, Sri
Lanka and Tunisia just to avoid payment of EU duties.
The Commission said it was acting after a complaint by the
European Bicycle Manufacturers Association (EBMA), the latest
step in a long-running trade dispute with China.
The EBMA represents more than a quarter of a European
industry that employs roughly 20,000 people, mainly in Germany
EU sales of bicycles and parts total about 5 billion euros
($6.5 billion) per year, including products from manufacturers
such as Dutch Accell Group, France's Decathlon, and
German's Derby Cycle and Mifa.
The EU first imposed duties on Chinese bicycles in 1993 and
have gradually increased them since then. Last year it extended
a 48.5 percent duty on bicycles imported from China until 2014.
Last October, the Commission said imports from Sri Lanka had
almost doubled between 2009 and 2010 to take up 5 percent of the
bicycle market in 2010, which could be consistent with
circumvention of duties.
Under EU anti-dumping rules, the Commission has nine months
in which to decide whether to levy additional duties and six
further months to announce definitive measures.
The investigation is the latest in a series the EU has
launched on trade with China, with cases so far this year
including steel, solar panels and aluminium foil.
China, the EU's second-biggest trading partner after the
United States, accounts for 16 percent of all imports, figures
from the EU statistics office show.
($1 = 0.7715 euros)
(Reporting By Ethan Bilby; editing by Rex Merrifield and Jane