This week an industry group gathered in Brussels for the first time to combat the potential fallout from an ongoing EU ‘anti-dumping’ investigation into electric bikes imported from China. The collective are concerned that restrictive trade measures could be imposed on Chinese electric bikes imported into the EU as a result.
The investigation stems from a complaint made by the European Bicycle Manufacturer’s Association.
A statement on EBMA’s website says: “Chinese e-bike exporters.. benefit from massive subsidies from government bodies at every level in China. Those subsidies have encouraged enormous e-bike manufacturing overcapacities, which are then dumped in the EU.”
A growing collective of electric bike industry members, spanning 7 EU members, and supported by LEVA, are uniting to counteract a “dumping case that threatens the market” and as such the collective are “united in their conviction to defend their interests, which ultimately protect European consumers” according to a statement released by the group.
This week the 23 companies met to discuss implications of the case and appoint legal counsel.
International law firm, Squire Patton Boggs, will represent the group who say they are both defending their business interests as well as “working together to make certain that e-bike prices remain as low as possible for the foreseeable future.”
David Miall of Kent-based electric bike brand Wisper has been appointed UK representative for the group. He says: “One thing is for sure, if the anti dumping complaint is upheld, the European manufacturers will not be able to take up the slack, e-bikes will become more difficult to get hold of and prices will shoot up.”
Miall is calling for further support from UK electric bike retailers and manufacturers to support the cause: “We really do need as many interested firms to join in as possible.”
Running parallel with the European Commission’s investigation into anti-dumping is a second ‘anti-subsidy’ EU investigation into Chinese state intervention in the market. A statement from EBMA says: “European e-bikes are undercut and overwhelmed in their home market by heavily subsidised, illegally dumped Chinese e-bikes sold below their cost of production.”
Both investigations are scheduled to conclude by January 2019. However, according to Bike EU, the EBMA Secretary General has said that provisional measures could be in place as early as the middle of 2018: “This is a possibility depending on the Commission’s investigators’ findings. This is a new case so provisional measures after 9 months are possible. We are also asking the registration of the imports of e-bikes from China, so that duties can be adopted retroactively.”