The Foreign Trade Association (FTA), representing the European retailers and importers' sector, welcomes the outcome of a recent vote at the EU Anti-Dumping Committee (comprised of government representatives from the 28 Member States). This vote ruled against the Commission's proposal to reassess the cancellation of anti-dumping duties which had been imposed on imports from five Chinese leather upper shoe producers. During the consultation, 17 voted against, 7 in favour and 4 abstained.
The FTA had previously expressed its strong disapproval towards this decision, which undermines two preceding judgements of the European Court of Justice which had annulled the duties imposed thereby allowing some EU companies to be reimbursed for duties paid.
"How can the European Commission essentially ignore the judgment and seek to re-impose duties retroactively? By doing so, it seriously undermines the authority of the Court. And not only for this case but potentially for all future cases”, explained Jan Eggert, FTA Director General.
Having examined the Commission's arguments and finding no grounds for such an unprecedented decision, the FTA raised its objections at a hearing with the EU Commission held last December. It also met with several Member States to raise its objections to the proposal.
The Commission has yet to decide whether it will pass the proposal to Council – and the proposal cannot be implemented unless the Council votes in favour. If that happens, as a consequence, the duties repaid to importers who filed objections could be reclaimed and those still in the process of payment, cancelled.