EBB reacts to WTO panel report on Argentine complaint

By The European Biodiesel Board | March 31, 2016

A World Trade Organization panel published its report March 29 in the case brought by Argentina regarding the EU antidumping measures on Argentinian biodiesel imports. The EBB regards the panel decision as a first episode in the legal battle engaged by Argentina and Indonesia in the WTO and before the European Court. EBB expects the European Commission to appeal the questionable parts of the panel report for review by the appellate body.

While EBB notes with satisfaction that the WTO panel does not put into question the possibility of adjustments of costs and prices, as provided in the EU legislation, it fails to understand how the panel could under these circumstances come to the conclusion that the method used by the EC, in order to correct distortions caused by the Argentinean differential export tax (DET) system, was in violation of WTO law.

The government of Argentina initiated the proceeding at WTO level in December 2013, asking for the annulment of the EU antidumping measures. This action is part of a larger landscape of legal disputes over the EU antidumping duties on imports of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia, as the government of Indonesia has lodged a similar request for consultations six months following Argentina’s complaint. In parallel, a number of proceedings in the case have been lodged by Argentinean and Indonesian producers at the European Court of Justice.

The EBB is active in defending the European industry on all these fronts and says it remains optimistic that it will be successful in convincing the WTO and the European Court to recognize the massive damages suffered by the EU biodiesel producers as a result of unfair imports.

“The European biodiesel industry will stand strong to defend its market from the harmful effects of the differential export tax mechanism, which has enabled the Argentinean biodiesel industry to export biodiesel to the EU at unfairly low prices and at times lower than the cost of biodiesel raw materials—a clear proof of dumping and unfair practice,” said EBB Secretary General Raffaello Garofalo. “The WTO panel’s report is not an outright victory for the Argentinean industry, as many of its claims—together with the request to withdraw the EU antidumping duties—have been rejected by the WTO panel. The EBB considers this WTO decision only as a first episode in a long, strenuous legal battle over the legitimacy of the EU defense measures. This issue has implications that go well beyond the case of biodiesel as shown by the number of countries that have supported as third parties in this proceeding. It is thus essential that the European Commission appeal the questionable parts of the report before the appellate body.”

To read the WTO panel report, click here


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