European Union Ends Anti-Subsidy Duties on Indian Screw Makers

The European Union removed provisional tariffs as high as 16.5 percent on screws and bolts from India, saying Indian subsidies didn’t cause injury to EU producers such as Italy’s Bontempi Vibo SpA.

The EU closed a probe into whether Indian manufacturers of stainless-steel fasteners received trade-distorting government aid, a step that also ends the threat of five-year European anti-subsidy levies.

An Indian manufacturer accounting for 87 percent of the nation’s exports of stainless-steel fasteners to the EU wasn’t subsidized, the bloc said today. Shipments from the producer, Viraj Profiles Ltd., were sold at “significantly lower” prices than the subsidized imports, according to the EU.

“A causal link between the subsidized imports, accounting for a mere 13 percent of the total quantity exported from India, and the injury suffered by the union industry cannot be sufficiently established,” the European Commission, the 27-nation EU’s trade authority in Brussels, said in the Official Journal.

The temporary levies being scrapped range from 3.2 percent to 16.5 percent, depending on the Indian exporter. Viraj Profiles faced a 3.2 percent duty. Another Indian exporter, Lakshmi Precision Screws Ltd., faced a 13.6 percent levy.

The EU introduced the duties in February on a temporary basis while continuing a probe into whether to apply “definitive” anti-subsidy levies for five years.

The subsidy investigation began in May 2011, the same month the EU opened a separate inquiry into whether Indian makers of stainless-steel fasteners also sold them in Europe below cost, a practice known as dumping. The EU dropped the threat of dumping duties two months ago.

The two probes began less than a year after the EU ended earlier threats to impose anti-subsidy and anti-dumping duties on Indian stainless-steel fasteners. In July 2010, the EU closed similar inquiries covering imports of the same goods from India and Malaysia without applying duties.

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