EU trade investigation ongoing, no duties imposed yet

By Holly Jessen | August 01, 2012

Although a final decision has not yet been made, the unofficial word is that the European Commission recently informed EU member states that it would not be issuing an order imposing preliminary duties against the U.S. ethanol industry in connection with the anti-dumping and anti-subsidy cases filed by ePure, the European Producers Union of Renewable Ethanol.

The investigations began in November, with ePURE alleging that imports of U.S. ethanol at unfairly low prices were seriously damaging the European biofuels industry and asking the European Commission to impose dissuasive duties.  The deadline to wrap up the anti-subsidy investigation is in December and the anti-dumping investigation will wrap up in February, ePURE said.

On July 26, the Renewable Fuels Association and Growth Energy issued a joint statement that said the two organizations were pleased that provisional anti-subsidy or anti-dumping duties on U.S. ethanol exported to EU countries. “The RFA and Growth Energy appreciate the Commission's hard work and careful consideration of the facts in these proceedings,” the joint statement said. “Both organizations will continue to cooperate fully with the Commission and both look forward to the speedy resolution of these proceedings.”

On the other hand, ePURE cautioned against premature statements at a preliminary stage of the procedure, adding that duties could theoretically still be imposed. At this time the Commission has only informed EU member states what its mid-term report will contain, Florence Bouyala-Imbert, trade manager for ePURE, told EPM. In addition, the report will address only the anti-subsidies case, not the anti-dumping case. “Of course, we would have expected recommendations for provisional measures from the Commission at this early stage, but the procedure is not over and there are a number of Member states that disagree to this position,” she said. “It is then by far too early to come to any conclusion.”