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EU Extends Levy on Chinese Stainless-Steel Screws to Philippines

The European Union extended to the Philippines a tariff on stainless-steel screws and bolts from China, saying Chinese exporters used the country to evade the levy meant to aid EU producers like Italy’s Bontempi Vibo SpA.

The EU said Chinese exporters of stainless-steel fasteners shipped them to Europe via the Philippines to dodge the 27.4 percent duty. This is the outcome of a probe that also covered Malaysia and Thailand, where the EU concluded that no Chinese circumvention took place.

The import tax “was circumvented by trans-shipment via the Philippines,” the 27-nation bloc said in a decision today in Brussels. The extension exempts two Philippine companies -- Multi-Tek Fasteners Inc. and Rosario Fasteners Corp. -- and will take effect after publication in the EU’s Official Journal within a week.

The EU renewed the trade protection against China in January 2012 for another five years to help European producers that also include Bulnava Srl of Italy, Germany’s Reisser Schraubentechnik GmbH and France’s Ugivis SA counter below-cost, or “dumped,” imports from the Asian country. The 27.4 percent levy is the maximum of three rates, which depend on the Chinese exporter. The lowest levy is 11.4 percent.

At the time, the EU also reimposed for five years anti-dumping duties as high as 23.6 percent on stainless-steel fasteners from Taiwan.

The extension of the maximum levy against China to the Philippines is the outcome of a circumvention probe that the EU began last June and will apply retroactively to imports as of that time, when the bloc also began to register shipments of stainless-steel fasteners from the Philippines.

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