EU May Renew Levy on Consumer-Battery Material From South Africa

The European Union threatened to renew for another five years a tariff against South Africa on a material for consumer batteries, saying EU producers including Greece’s Tosoh Hellas AIC may need the longer trade protection.

The 27-nation EU said it would examine whether to reimpose the 17.1 percent levy on imports of electrolytic manganese dioxide from South Africa. The bloc imposed the levy in 2008 to punish Delta EMD Pty for selling the material in Europe below cost, a practice known as dumping.

The review “will determine whether the expiry of the measures would be likely to lead to a continuation or recurrence of dumping” and “a continuation or recurrence of injury” to the EU industry, the European Commission, the bloc’s trade authority in Brussels, said today in the Official Journal. The anti-dumping duty was due to lapse this week and will now stay in place during the probe, which can last as long as 15 months.

Delta EMD, which in 2008 was South Africa’s only known producer of electrolytic manganese dioxide, increased its share of the EU market to between 60 percent and 70 percent in the 12 months through September 2006 from 30 percent to 40 percent in 2002, the bloc said at the time.

The probe into whether to renew the duty results from a Dec. 11 request by Tosoh Hellas and Spain’s Cegasa Internacional SA, the only EU producers of electrolytic manganese dioxide, the commission said today. A regular re-imposition of the levy would be for five years.

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