Fabian Demicoli

Anti-dumping duties wrongly imposed on ceramic tableware and kitchenware

Today the EU Commission imposed
provisional anti-dumping duties of up to 59% on ceramic tableware and
kitchenware from China, disregarding the fact that a majority of Member States
had opposed such a move. GRTU, EuroCommerce who represent
European retailers and importers in Europe and Foreign Trade Association
condemned the move. In a democratic society, it is not acceptable that the
Commission can impose punitive duties under such circumstances.

GRTU had consulted its members and
expressed a clear view that voting in favour of such an anti-dumping duty was
not in favour of Maltese traders and consumers. The fact that at the vote taken
at the Anti-Dumping Committee of 23 October only nine Member States were in
favour shows very clearly that this is the situation in many other European

At this stage of an anti-dumping
investigation, the vote by Member States is however technically not binding on
the Commission (unlike when a decision is taken to impose definitive duties).
However, many commentators expressed surprise that the Commission had decided
to go ahead with legislation.

SME importers will be hit
particularly badly by the measures as they operate on very tight margins in a
highly competitive marketplace. This measure will also impact consumers as
members had indicated that they may be forced to put up prices and/or reduce
the range of product. In such times of recession when we are all looking to
save money, imposing duties on such a wide range of products that every family
needs simply in order to protect a few players in the EU industry is

The investigation is set to continue
until the Commission is ready to decide whether definitive duties should be
imposed. This decision is likely to arrive by April so that interested parties
can submit comments and Member States can be consulted before the ultimate
deadline of 16 May 2013. At that point duties could be imposed for a maximum of
five years.

GRTU takes this opportunity to advise
members that from today onward tableware and kitchenware of ceramic of other
type of pottery originating from China will be subject to a 59% duty on the
price of the project on importation.




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