Tech-Fab Europe encourages EU importers to be careful to comply with new EU trade defence measures and welcomes supply chain collaboration to ensure the measures are effective

On 15 June 2020,  the European Commission imposed anti-subsidy (AS) measures on imports of Glass Fibre Fabrics (GFF) from China and Egypt.  With the GFF anti-dumping (AD) measures  imposed on the same imports in April 2020,  the combined AS and AD duties  are now between 54.6% and 99.7% on GFF imports from China (depending on the producer), and 30.9% on GFF imports from Egypt.  

Tech-Fab Europe is working actively and closely with the Commission to follow up and ensure the effectiveness of the measures resulting from the Commission’s thorough investigation of the dumping and subsidies that have been unfairly benefiting Chinese producers in both China and Egypt. 

In this regard, we have information indicating that Chinese GFF exporters (both in China and Egypt) are already putting in motion actions to circumvent the recently imposed EU trade measures through third countries.

Not only are circumvention actions illegal under EU law, but they also undermine the hard work put into the investigations by Tech-Fab Europe’s members and the European Commission, rob the EU and Member State budgets of import duties, and squander EU taxpayers’ money.  Moreover, circumvention practices would undermine the ability of EU producers to recover from the illegal dumping and subsidies of the Chinese producers, and set back the further innovative development of the EU glass-based lightweight materials value chain. 

Tech-Fab Europe will take all the actions it deems necessary to stop illegal circumventions and we ask the entire EU value chain to assist us in this process.  In particular, we encourage all EU importers to be particularly vigilant in ensuring  that they do not unknowingly cooperate with illegal circumventions. European importers  should doublecheck  that their suppliers are genuine and verify the origin of imported products to ensure that their suppliers are not in contravention of EU laws.  Indeed, circumvention and customs fraud are serious offenses under EU law and punishable by high fines and other sanctions.  

In addition to actions by national customs authorities against customs origin fraud and other violations of EU customs rules, EU importers should be aware that an anti-circumvention investigation by the European Commission can be initiated rapidly and that imports are registered from the start of such an investigation, meaning that if circumvention is found, anti-circumvention duties can be due retroactively on all imports as of the date of initiation.

EU importers are welcome to contact Tech-Fab Europe for assistance to avoid involvement in the circumvention of EU rules, and all members of the EU glass-based lightweight materials value chain are welcome to contact us to see how they can contribute to efforts to ensure the effectiveness of EU trade defence measures in relation to EU imports of GFF.