Five years ago the European Biodiesel Board (EBB) lodged a complaint against dumped and subsidised biodiesel imports from the US. In March 2009, the European Commission imposed extensive anti-dumping and countervailing measures of imports of US biodiesel, which are due to expire this July.
It is claimed circumvention of these measures began either as transhipment of US biodiesel into third countries or through exports of artificially-designed blends containing less than 20% biodiesel. In May 2011, the EU Council set retroactive anti-circumvention measures for imports consigned from Canada, as well as for imports of US biodiesel blends below the previous 20% threshold.
BP North America directly challenged the EU Council by requesting the annulment of these measures by claiming exports of B15 starting in 2010 could not be considered as a slightly modified pure biodiesel. It further argued if B15 was to be considered as a like-for-like product, then it did not meet the conditions for circumvention, explaining that by claiming no change in trade patterns occurred.
But the EBB, despite the EU duties contributing to re-establishing more favourable market conditions overall, was still concerned to see cheap imports from the US continuing to ‘injured European industry’.
A judgement, published 16 January, rejected BP claims to be excluded from anti-circumvention duties for biodiesel originating from North America. It also obliges BP to pay for the legal expenses of both the EU Council and the EBB.
‘The signal is clear: biodiesel duties against the US and, per extension, Indonesia and Argentina, are well defended also by the European Court of Justice against any kind of circumvention. The legal basis of EU biodiesel duties is even more solid after today’s judgement,’ says EBB secretary general Raffaello Garofalo.
EBB provided technical and market information to support the defence led by the Council and claims this decision is ‘extremely important’ since it confirms ‘a definitive judgement to a legal halt on any kind of circumvention practice to import biodiesel in Europe via biodiesel blends lower than 20%, or via triangular trade’.
The Court of Justice dismissed the legal action and rejected BP North America’s request to annul anti-circumvention regulations, arguing ‘the applicant played a significant role in the circumvention proceedings’.
- See more at: http://www.biofuels-news.com/industry_news.php?item_id=7305#sthash.P2IOnnGO.dpuf