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EU biodiesel industry to file anti-subsidy case against Argentine biodiesel imports

The European Biodiesel Board (EBB) is preparing to launch an anti-subsidy case against biodiesel imports from Argentina, following a recent decision by the European Union (EU) to significantly lower the antidumping duties for the country. The EBB is highly concerned about the impact that Implementing Regulation 2017/1578 is having on the EU market. A fast-track imposition of high-level countervailing duties (CVD) will be necessary to prevent an influx of products from Argentina says EBB.

Rapeseed is an oilseed widely grown as a rotational crop in Europe and North America and used as a feedstock for biodiesel production amongst other things.

The revised anti-dumping duties on biodiesel imports from Argentina are now ranging from EUR 43.18 – 79.56 per tonne which is a significantly lower level than those set previously and, according to EBB, the move has led to a major increase in the volumes of subsidised biodiesel exports from Argentina into EU markets.

The subsidies mean that Argentine exporters are able to sell biodiesel at a price that is lower than the cost of the raw materials alone in the EU. This is resulting in “severe damage” to the EU biodiesel industry and related economic activities, which is expected to worsen over the next weeks and months.

Following feedback from the European Commission (EC) itself, the EU biodiesel industry is responding by making an anti-subsidy complaint against such “unfair trade flows” from Argentina.

With “damage occurring in the markets” just a few days after the duties were lowered, the EBB is raising the attention of the delegates of member states and the EC to raise awareness of the “absolute necessity of shortening all possible delays to starting the registration of all future imports, as well as beginning an investigation and quickly adopting a provisional countervailing duty against Argentinian imports”.

Such “fast-track” duty adoption against unfairly priced exports from Argentina was recently implemented by US trade defence authorities and the EU biodiesel industry is hoping for a similar approach in the EU, if possible.

This is a legitimate fight to protect the EU biodiesel market – and the 120,000 jobs it supports – from a heavily subsidised export-oriented industry. We are prepared to do whatever it takes to limit the recurring Argentinian biodiesel imports. An EBB anti-subsidy complaint will be presented imminently. In our view, it is essential that the registration of all incoming imports from Argentina starts as soon as possible and that a provisional duty is urgently established by EU Trade Defence authorities, said Raffaello Garofalo, EBB’s Secretary General.

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