EU member states vote to go ahead with anti-dumping tariff

By Holly Jessen | December 20, 2012

News that a nearly 10 percent anti-dumping duty will likely be imposed on U.S. ethanol imports to European Union countries was confirmed by a majority vote of EU member countries on Dec. 20.

The vote puts the EU a step closer to a final decision to impose a 9.6 percent duty for the next five years, ePURE, European Renewable Ethanol Association, said in a statement. The group, which filed the anti-dumping complaint in November 2011, said U.S. ethanol was cheap, subsidized and caused European ethanol prices to drop substantially. An anti-subsidy investigation was launched at the same time as the anti-dumping case, but was terminated by the European Commission.

Rob Vierhout, secretary general of ePURE, thanked the European Commission for its hard work. “This positive outcome is not only a legitimate compensation for the past injury but it also sets a good precedent for challenges that the industry will be facing in the future,” he said.  

Growth Energy and the Renewable Fuels Association issued a joint statement Dec. 19, stressing that the vote by EU member countries was just one step in the process and that the decision to impose a 9.6 percent duty was not yet final. “While we are troubled by the Commission’s preliminary decision, we remain convinced that this matter lacks the merit necessary for imposing such a duty and that, when all the facts are considered, the European Union will rightly decide not to impose any antidumping duties on imports of ethanol produced in the United States,” the statement said.

Once the vote by EU member countries is official, it will be sent to the EU council for approval. The final step is by the European Commission. The process is expected to take through the end of February before a final decision is made on whether to impose the duty on U.S. ethanol, ePURE said.