European Commission removes anti-dumping duties on US ethanol imports

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The European Commission (EC) has chosen to repeal the anti-dumping duty on the import of ethanol from the US, overturning a decision made in 2013.

In announcing its decision, the EC concluded that removal of the duty would not increase the chance of dumping of US ethanol on the market in the European Union (EU).

The Commission announced a €62.9 per metric ton duty on all ethanol imports from the US in February 2013 for a period of five years.

The duties were due to expire in February 2018, however the EC launched an expiry review of the measures at that time, ensuring that current duties remained in place for the duration of the review.

The investigation has now concluded, with the commission finding no evidence that removal of the US ethanol duties would encourage dumping in Europe.

A statement from the European Commission concluded: “It follows from the above considerations that […] the anti-dumping measures applicable to imports of bioethanol originating in the US […] should be repealed.”

US welcomes decision

Welcoming the decision, US Grains Council (USGC), Growth Energy and the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) released a joint statement.

“The decision today in the EU to allow more open access for US ethanol is very welcome by our industry and the members of the US Grains Council,” said Tom Sleight, president and CEO of USGC. “We look forward to working with our customers and counterparts in the EU to fulfil the ethanol demanded by their biofuels policy and environment- and price-conscious consumers.”

"We welcome the European Commission’s decision to open the market to free and fair competition," said Craig Willis, senior vice-president of global markets, Growth Energy. "By removing unjustified duties on US ethanol, the Commission is opening critical new opportunities for member states to take full advantage of affordable, low-carbon biofuels. It’s a win-win for our EU trading partners, who will be better positioned to meet their environmental goals while holding down prices for European drivers."

“We are pleased with the Commission’s decision to terminate these penalties immediately. RFA has always maintained these penalties were unjustified and unwarranted,” added RFA CEO Geoff Cooper. “The US ethanol industry is looking forward to resuming more open trade relations with the European Union. With today’s removal of these duties, consumers in the EU will once again have unfettered access to clean, affordable, renewable fuels.”

Concerned European market

However, European ethanol association ePURE has lamented the decision made by the EC, warning that it will have serious consequences for the entire value chain of the European renewable ethanol industry.

“Europe’s ethanol industry has an important role to play in the urgent effort to decarbonise EU transport,” said Emmanuel Desplechin, secretary-general of ePURE. “The EU’s 2050 climate goals require a massive uptake of conventional and advanced biofuels. To achieve them, policymakers must do a better job of creating an environment in which Europe’s ethanol industry can compete on a level playing field and valorise domestic biomass into food and non-food uses.”