The European Union has lodged a protest with Sri Lanka over Colombo being used as a base for export of Chinese-made bicycles to avoid the payment of anti-dumping duty.The EU protest was handed over to Sri Lanka’s Embassy in Brussels by EU’s Director General of Trade. “We are yet to receive a response from the Government,” the EU’s Sri Lanka representative Bernard Savage said.

The European Commission has already begun investigations on whether Chinese exporters were shipping bicycles to the 27 EU countries through Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia and Tunisia.

“The investigators will have to find out whether exports from Sri Lanka are genuine or bypassing the regulations,” Mr. Savage said.

He said the investigations would take a few months and it was not possible to comment on the losses immediately. According to the EU, the main thrust of the investigation is to find out if Chinese exporters were shipping bicycles to the EU via the four countries to avoid paying a 48.5 per cent anti-dumping duty. The levy, in place for 19 years, is meant to punish Chinese exporters for selling bicycles in Europe below cost.

The request by the European Bicycle Manufacturers Association for the EU to open the probe “contains sufficient evidence that the anti-dumping measures on imports of bicycles originating in China are being circumvented by means of transshipment via Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Tunisia and by means of assembly operations of certain bicycle parts from China via Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Tunisia,” the Brussels-based commission said.

The association said European bicycle manufacturers would be affected if the practice continued.

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