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EU Announces Green Tax Move

by Ulrika Lomas, for, Brussels

30 August 2007

The European Commission on Wednesday adopted a decision to remove anti-dumping duties on energy-saving light bulbs from China in the next year.

Since 2001, the European Union has imposed an anti-dumping tariff on energy-saving light bulbs from China, as it argued that these products were being 'dumped' on the EU market – which means that because of state intervention or other market distortions in China they were being sold at less than their real value in the European market.

When these duties were due to expire in 2006, EU industry requested an expiry review to determine whether there were grounds for prolonging the duties for a further five years.

That investigation is now complete and the Commission is required to make a recommendation to Member States on whether duties be removed or not.

EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson explained that:

"The European Commission will recommend to Member States that it is in the interest of the EU to remove these duties in the next year. This case has once again shown the complexities of managing anti-dumping rules in a global economy and against the broad range of EU interests."

EU Member States now have one month to consider the Commission's proposal.

Commenting on the proposed delay in termination of the duties, the EC announced that:

"This will allow a further period of up to one year in which EU companies can adjust to new patterns of production and trade before the duties are discontinued. This recommendation stands by the fundamental analysis of the Commission’s investigation – which sees it as in the wider Community interest to discontinue the duties - while striving to reflect the legitimate interests of all parties."

It continued:

"The EU has made efficient energy use and conservation a key priority. The EU is likely to be able to meet only 25% of its demand for energy saving lightbulbs through domestic production. In the Commission's judgement it is not in the community interest in these circumstances to be adding a significant additional cost to the price of imported products."

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