ANNOUNCEMENT 15 Mar 2014In March 2014, the European Commission initiated a new anti-dumping investigation.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
European Commission, 2014a, Summary report of
the 210th meeting of the ORIGIN SECTION of the CUSTOMS CODE COMMITTEE held in Brussels, on 3 and 4 March 2014, TAXUD/3602398/13 'Non-confidential version' European Commission, Brussels, Belgium.
European Commission, 2014b, Summary report of
the 211st meeting of the ORIGIN SECTION of the CUSTOMS CODE COMMITTEE held in Brussels, on 20 May 2014, TAXUD/3373962/14 'Non-confidential
version' European Commission, Brussels, Belgium.
Report on the measure by National Board of Trade, Sweden
On 20 May 2014, the European Commission decided that starting 15 March 2014 - hence retroactively - the blending of U.S.-American bioethanol with Norwegian gasoline would not benefit from Norwegian non-preferential rules of origin despite Norway being part of the single market and bioethanol blends (HS code 3824) not being classified as agricultural products (therefore stopping the EU from implementing anti-dumping measures against an EEA member state).
The Commission argued that article 25 of the Community Customs Code requires the last operation classified as in the origin of the product to be "economically justified" and this condition did not hold for the case of Norwegian bioethanol blends since the product needs to be further blended before being used in motor vehicles.
This expansion of anti-dumping duties was brought to the attention in a report by the Swedish National Board of Trade (cf. Sources). The report emphasizes, however, that despite the Commission's decision, "the responsibility of assessing each individual case would thereafter lie with the customs authorities of EU member states, since the Commission cannot give instructions to the EU member states on the implementation of the customs legislation." (p.16 of the report)
The judgement by the Commission of non-preferential rules of origin constitutes a trade distortion and shall be classified as a red measure, as, according to the WTO Agreement on Rules of Origin, "Members are required to ensure that (...) rules of origin are not used a trade policy instrument" and that "rules of origin do not themselves create restrictive, distorting or disruptive effects on international trade" (as cited in National Board of Trade report, p.2).