EU May Renew Levies on Bottle Material From Asia

The European Union scrapped tariffs against five Asian nations on a chemical used to make bottles for water and soft drinks including Coca-Cola, ending 13 years of trade protection.

EU governments decided today in Brussels to let lapse the duties on polyethylene terephthalate from India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan and Thailand. The import taxes, introduced in 2000, punished producers in these countries for allegedly selling polyethylene terephthalate in Europe below cost, a practice known as dumping.

The anti-dumping duties as high as 200.90 euros ($258.40) a metric ton had been due to expire in February 2012 following an initial renewal in 2007 and then stayed in place during a probe into whether to extend them a second time to curb competition for EU producers such as Spain’s Novapet SA. Today’s decision is the outcome of the inquiry.

The European Commission, the EU’s trade authority that conducted the investigation, recommended re-imposing the duties against India, Taiwan and Thailand and removing the levies against Indonesia and Malaysia. EU governments decided to end the measures against all five countries.

In a separate decision today, EU governments renewed for five years a separate set of duties against India on polyethylene terephthalate to counter alleged subsidies to Indian manufacturers. That was in line with a proposal by the commission. The decisions on both the anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties will take effect after being published in the EU Official Journal in the coming days or weeks.

The expiring anti-dumping duties are as much as 200.90 euros a ton on India; up to 187.70 euros on Indonesia; as high as 160.10 euros on Malaysia; as much as 143.40 euros on Taiwan, depending on the company; and 83.20 euros on Thailand.

The renewed anti-subsidy duties against India are as high as 106.50 euros a ton.

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