China Is Hit With Five-Year EU Tariffs on Fittings, Tableware

The European Union imposed five-year tariffs on pipe fittings and ceramic tableware from China, the latest evidence of the Chinese threat to higher-cost EU producers. Thailand also faces five-year pipe-fittings duties.

The levies as high as 57.8 percent punish Chinese and Thai manufacturers of threaded malleable fittings and Chinese makers of ceramic tableware and kitchenware for allegedly selling them in the 27-nation EU below cost, a practice known as dumping.

The fittings are used in the gas, water and heating systems of homes and office buildings as well as in the pipe systems of oil refineries. Importers of the tableware and kitchenware include Germany’s Metro AG and Sweden’s Ikea.

European manufacturers have suffered “material injury” as a result of dumped imports from China and Thailand, the EU said today in Brussels. Both sets of anti-dumping duties follow provisional measures introduced in mid-November and will take effect after publication in the EU Official Journal within three days.

China, which faces more EU anti-dumping taxes than any other nation, increased its share of the bloc’s threaded malleable fittings market to 43.5 percent in 2011 from 28.7 percent in 2008, the bloc said. Thailand expanded its share of the European market to 5.2 percent from 4.4 percent over the period, according to the EU.

The five-year fittings duties against China range from 24.6 percent to 57.8 percent, depending on the manufacturer. The levies against Thailand range from 14.9 percent to 15.5 percent. Both sets of duties are lower than the provisional measures and the EU will refund importers the difference.

Five-Year Duties

China increased its share of the EU market for ceramic tableware and kitchenware to 66.8 percent in 2011 from 64.8 percent in 2008, the bloc said. The five-year duties range from

13.1 percent to 36.1 percent, also lower than the provisional measures.

The five-year levies are the outcome of two inquiries that the EU opened in February 2012 after dumping complaints by groups on behalf of EU manufacturers of the goods. The fittings probe also covered Indonesia, against which the EU is applying no five-year duties. Indonesia was also spared provisional measures.