ePure suspects circumvention of import duty on ethanol imports

The European Renewable Ethanol Association (ePure) has asked the European Commission to investigate if EU customs legislation is properly applied in Finland.

Evidence from several sources indicates that ethanol blended with gasoline coming from the US, destined for the EU market, will be classified as an ethanol blend with much lower import duties than denatured ethanol, creating unfair market situations and circumvention of import duties.

The blend, consisting of 92% ethanol and 8% gasoline, is entering the Finnish community and will be brought into free circulation on the common market. There is a serious concern that the blend is not classified according to regulation 211/2012, denatured ethanol, but as a chemical.

EPure also asks the EC to certify that the volumes entering the EU and originating via the US carry the anti-dumping duty. This regulation requires an extra duty put on products originating from the US and destined for the fuel market for a period of five years.

In a statement ePure said: ‘Circumvention is an unfair way of trading that has a detrimental impact on the EU producers, and is subject to legal sanctions. Under the new 211/2012 regulation, adopted by member states in March 2012, goods composed of up to 70% ethyl alcohol and to 30% gasoline have to be classified by national customs as denatured ethanol. Products corresponding to this definition should be applied an import duty of €102 ($131) per 1,000 litres.’

‘Seeing that a well-known Finnish company is offering this product on the EU market at a price substantially lower than any other European company is a serious reason for concern and causes us to take immediate action,’ says Rob Vierhout, secretary general of ePure.

‘Neither do we understand why EU companies want to import US ethanol knowing that the greenhouse gas emission saving is much lower than the savings realised by EU-based ethanol which can be as high as 90%.’

If Finland is found to not be applying the EU regulations correctly then the country will face an infringement procedure launched by the Commission.

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