EU may slap tariff on TV makers

By Jiang Wei (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-03-30 07:02
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The European Union (EU) is likely to renew its anti-dumping tariff on seven major Chinese colour TV makers, because one company breached a 2002 agreement made with the EU on export pricing and quantity.

The EU might re-impose a 44.6 per cent tariff on seven companies, including Xiamen Overseas Chinese Electronic Co Ltd, Haier Electrical Appliances Corporation Ltd, Hisense Import & Export Co and Konka Group Co Ltd, according to an insider, who requested to remain anonymous. These seven TV manufacturers are currently exempt from the EU anti-dumping tariff because they agreed to a price undertaking with the EU in 2002.

The EU intends to slap the tariff back on the seven companies because Konka refused to participate in an investigation that was part of the original agreement, the source said.

So far, neither the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products (CCCME) nor lawyers representing these firms received any official notice from the European economic block.

CCCME said in a website statement that it regularly reported the firms' fulfilment of the EU agreement.

In 1999, the EU imposed a 44.6 per cent anti-dumping duty on colour TV sets from China, which shut out nearly all Chinese colour TVs from the EU market.

Three years later, seven major Chinese TV makers won back access to the EU market by agreeing on quantitative ceilings and prices in defined periods of sales. They also agreed that an agreement breach by an individual company would be seen as a breach by all seven companies.

The EU decision will not only affect this single case but also EU's dumping charges against China later on, said Xiang Dong, a legal expert with Allbright Law Office, which specializes in anti-dumping cases.

"This was the first time the EU accepted an undertaking since 1990," she said. "But the colour TV case might affect Chinese enterprises' credit in the EU dumping claims."

The EU anti-dumping measures are only pointed at the made-in-China cathode ray tube (CRT) TV sets.

However, the market share of CRT TV sets declined in the global market while that of flat-screen TVs sharply increased. According to statistics from the customs, China's CRT TV exports to the EU dropped 14.3 per cent year-on-year in 2005 and exports of liquid crystal display (LCD) TVs and plasma TVs grew 17.6 per cent and 1.3 per cent respectively year-on-year.

(China Daily 03/30/2006 page9)