The UK government’s Trade Remedies Authority (TRA) is to review anti-dumping and countervailing measures on e-bikes imported from China.
A company is said to be ‘dumping’ when it exports a product at a price lower than the price it normally charges in its own home market. Anti-dumping measures, including tariffs, can be applied if the dumping is hurting the industry in the importing country.
The UK currently imposes a tariff on bikes and e-bikes made in China. The rules also apply to several other countries (Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Tunisia) which Chinese manufacturers have previously tried to use to circumvent the measures.
As part of its review, the TRA - which aims to defend the UK against unfair international trade practices - will determine whether dumping would be likely to continue or recur if the measures were no longer applied and whether this would damage the UK industry.
The TRA will carry out a consumer survey, targeting e-bike customers, as part of its assessment of how measures on these imports would affect the overall UK economy.
Sales of e-bikes in the UK reached an estimated £310 million in 2022, although earlier this year it was reported that sales dipped last year for the first time in five years. Market research firm Mintel does however predict a return to faster growth in the market from 2024 onwards.
TRA chief executive Oliver Griffiths said: “Sales of e-bikes have been growing rapidly in the UK and are now worth over £300 million per year. We will be investigating whether existing trade remedy measures are still justified to protect UK producers, taking into account the extra costs that the measures place on consumers.”
The investigation will cover the period from April 1st 2022 to March 31st 2023. In order to assess injury, the TRA will examine the period from April 2019 to March 2022.
Businesses that may be affected by the review, such as importers or exporters of the products or UK producers of similar products, can contribute to the review by registering on the TRA’s online case platform. Developments in the case will also be posted on the TRA’s public file.
Last year, the UK government reduced the anti-dumping rate that two Chinese e-bike manufacturers are obliged to pay from 62.1% to 16.2%. The duty had been introduced to prevent China from flooding the market with cheap e-bikes and forcing local manufacturers out of business.