The EU implements regulations on imported Chinese electric bicycle parts
Brussels, Belgium -- In an effort to provide more legal certainty to European electric bicycle assemblers, the European Commission has revised anti-circumvention rules on imported Chinese parts.According to the new regulation 2020/1296 published in the official gazette, the European Commission has made it possible for Europe-based assemblers to import electric bicycles and bicycle parts for the production of their electric bikes and to obtain exemptions or applications.
Both the European Bicycle Manufacturers' association (EBMA) and the European Light Electric Vehicle Association (LEVA-EU) have welcomed the new rules.But LEVA-EU still has reservations about the new rules.
Exclusive electric bicycle assembler
Anti-dumping duties on Chinese-made electric bikes have been in place for a year and a half, with production largely shifting to Taiwan and Europe.Companies that didn't assemble regular bikes and start making e-bikes until January 2019 have imported the necessary e-bike parts from China, but they are exempt from regular bike parts.Existing legislation does not clarify whether this is a legal approach.New regulations 2020/1296 should eliminate this uncertainty.
Moreno Fioravanti, secretary-general of the EBMA, said: "In the old EU regulation 71/97, it was not properly stated that bicycle parts sourced from exempted Manufacturers in China could also be used in the production of e-bikes in Europe.The new rules are very clear.Another important part of the new regulations is that European companies that specialize in assembling e-bikes will also be able to apply for exemptions, just as bicycle manufacturers do."
"We are also pleased to see that e-bike parts are now in place for warranty and aftersales services.Manufacturers exempt from supplying parts and components to European assemblers may also provide a reasonable number of parts for warranty and after-sales services."
The prelude to an anti-evasive tax on electric bicycle parts?
According to LEVE-EU, the new legal text appears to discriminate against companies that assemble only electric bikes."This exemption for 'other products' applies only to traditional bicycle manufacturers that assemble e-bikes," LEVE-EU wrote in its newsletter."Manufacturers of electric bicycles that do not assemble conventional bicycles are not exempt because article 1, paragraph 4, of Regulation 88/97 defines an 'assembly operation' as' an operation introduced for the assembly or completion of a major part of a bicycle '.If the commission adds e-bikes to this indentation, they will simplify the life span of e-bike assemblers."
Shortly after LEVE-EU imposed anti-dumping and countervailing measures on imports of e-bikes from China in January 2019,LEVA-EU has pointed out the expected difficulties of importing e-bike components.
The dual advantages
LEVE-EU says: "The end result of all this is surreal, to say the least.European e-bike makers have to prove they don't make traditional bikes to get the final license.The very fact that he has no immunity is proof that he does not produce traditional bicycles.If he can produce regular bikes, he will get an exemption, which is easier than eventual licensing, and it gives him a double benefit: immunity for both regular bikes and e-bikes.
For LEVA-EU, all this is a question of why the Commission chose to address the issue in this way."Will this be the prelude to the anti-tax evasion of e-bike components?In this case, will the exemption based on regulation 88/97 be extended further to an important component of e-bikes?""The group openly questioned."We are currently seeking legal advice on potential discrimination as a result of regulation 2020/1296."
While LEVE-EU applauds the fact that some producers now have legal certainty, the trade associations find it unacceptable that not all companies are treated equally.