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EU Renews Chinese Pool-Disinfectant Taxes to Aid Ercros, Fluidra

The European Union renewed tariffs on a swimming-pool disinfectant from China for another five years to help Spanish producers Ercros SA and Fluidra SA compete against cheaper imports.

The EU reimposed the duties as high as 42.6 percent on imports from China of trichloroisocyanuric acid. The bloc introduced the levies in October 2005 to punish Chinese exporters of the chemical for selling it in Europe below cost, a practice known as dumping.

“It is likely that dumping will continue on the union market if the current anti-dumping measures are removed,” the 27-nation EU said in a decision today in Brussels. “The situation of the union industry would deteriorate and its very existence would be jeopardized.” The five-year renewal will take effect after being published in the EU Official Journal by Jan. 6.

China’s share of the EU market for trichloroisocyanuric acid expanded to between 50 percent and 60 percent in the 12 months through June 2010 from 40 percent to 50 percent in 2007, according to the bloc. The Chinese share previously grew nearly fivefold to 50 percent in the period between April 2003 and March 2004 compared with 2000, the bloc said when introducing the anti-dumping duties.

European chemical industry group Cefic asked in July 2010 for a prolongation of the anti-dumping duties on behalf of producers that account for more than 90 percent of EU output of trichloroisocyanuric acid. In its decision today, the EU described Ercros and Fluidra, both of which are based in Barcelona, as the bloc’s “two major” producers.

Cefic’s Request

In response to Cefic’s request, the EU in October 2010 opened a probe that culminated with today’s decision. The original anti-dumping duties, which had been due to lapse in October last year, automatically stayed in place during the inquiry into whether to renew them. The levies range from 3.2 percent to 42.6 percent, depending on the Chinese manufacturer.

When it opened the expiration review last year, the EU let lapse anti-dumping duties as high as 25 percent on trichloroisocyanuric acid from the U.S.

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