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EU court annuls tariffs against Argentine, Indonesian biodiesel

The General Court of the #EuropeanUnion has annulled #antidumping measures imposed three years ago on #Argentine and Indonesian #biodiesel imports. The court made its ruling Sept. 15 in five separate judgements addressing individual cases brought by six companies, LDC #Argentina S.A. and #Cargill SACI from Argentina, and two #Wilmar subsidiaries along with two other companies from #Indonesia.#Photo:Fernando López King

In official documents found on the EU’s Court of Justice website regarding Argentina and its pricing distortions due to the nation’s differential export taxes (DETs), the court said, “The institutions therefore merely explained the relationship between the international prices and the domestic prices of the main raw materials and gave indications as regards the impact of the export tax on the availability of those raw materials on the domestic market and on their prices, without, however, establishing specifically the effects that the DET system as such could have had on the domestic prices of the main raw materials and the extent to which those effects differ from those of a taxation system without differential rates for export taxes on the main raw materials and biodiesel. Accordingly, it must be considered that the institutions failed to establish to the requisite legal standard that there was appreciable distortion of the prices of the main raw materials in Argentina as a result of the DET system, in that it included differential rates for export taxes on the main raw materials and biodiesel. Therefore, by taking the view that the prices of those raw materials were not reasonably reflected in the records of the Argentinian exporting producers examined and by disregarding them, the institutions infringed Article 2(5) of the basic regulation.”

In 2013, the EU imposed definitive antidumping duties on imports of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia. The antidumping measures consisted of an additional duty of on average 24.6 percent for Argentina and 18.9 percent for Indonesia. The measures were based on a decision taken by the council, following a 15-month investigation carried out by the European Commission, which concluded that Argentinean and Indonesian biodiesel producers were dumping their products on the EU market. The exports were claimed responsible for significant negative effects on the financial and operational performance of European producers.

In 2011 and 2012 combined, Argentina exported 982.8 million gallons of biodiesel, half of which was exported to Spain alone, according to the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service. The European Biodiesel Board, which initiated the investigation, insisted Argentina’s differential export taxes, which incentivize exportation of biodiesel versus raw soybean oil, allow for dumping at a cost lower than European producers can compete with.

On Sept. 16, the EBB stated the organization was confident “that in the context of an appeal before the Court of Justice, it will be possible to demonstrate that such export taxes have indeed caused an appreciable distortion that was evidenced throughout the investigation. The EU biodiesel industry is also convinced it can—if necessary—bring additional technical and economic elements that could further evidence the effects of the practices. Most importantly, the antidumping measures against Argentina and Indonesia continue fully in force today and also during the time of an appeal.”

By Ron Kotrba

Biodiesel Magazine

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