Bloomberg: The European Union imposed five- year tariffs against Iran, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates on a material used in plastic bottles, saying EU producers are victims of trade-distorting subsidies.
By Jonathan Stearns
Sept. 27 (Bloomberg) — The European Union imposed five- year tariffs against Iran, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates on a material used in plastic bottles, saying EU producers are victims of trade-distorting subsidies.
The duties on polyethylene terephthalate, also used in plastic films and fibers, widen existing EU protection for producers such as Spain’s Novapet SA against imports from Asia. The new anti-subsidy levies follow provisional measures introduced in June, when the EU took the extra step of taxing the U.A.E.’s sole producer for also selling in Europe below cost, a practice known as dumping.
In 2007, the EU renewed for five years anti-dumping duties on polyethylene terephthalate from India, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea, Thailand and Taiwan to help European producers in Europe’s 3 billion-euro ($4 billion) market. Users of the product, known as PET, include plastic bottle-mold makers such as Resilux NV and bottlers including Coca-Cola Co.
European manufacturers of PET suffered “injury” as a result of subsidized imports from Iran, Pakistan and the U.A.E., the 27-nation EU said in a decision today in Brussels. The duties, which are as high as 139.70 euros a metric ton, will take effect after publication in the Official Journal by Oct. 2.
The import taxes are the outcome of probes opened in September 2009 by the European Commission, the bloc’s regulatory arm. Under EU rules, the commission can impose provisional anti- subsidy duties for four months and provisional anti-dumping levies for six months. The EU’s national governments — acting on a commission proposal — can turn those measures into “definitive” five-year duties at the same or different rates.
The definitive anti-subsidy or “countervailing” duties on PET are 139.70 euros a ton against Iran, 44.02 euros a ton against Pakistan and 42.34 euros a ton against the U.A.E. The EU will refund importers the difference with higher provisional rates of 142.97 euros on Iran and 83.64 euros on Pakistan; the definitive rate on the U.A.E is the same as the provisional levy.