EU countries call for more checks on Asian biofuel imports

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France and Germany have called on the European Union to adopt stricter checks on overseas suppliers of biofuel as the EU investigates allegations of fraud in imports from Asia, Reuters reported.
The European biodiesel industry has complained of a surge in imports from China which it believes involve supplies declared as made with recycled oil and fat but actually produced with cheaper and less sustainable virgin oil.
In a note submitted to a meeting of EU energy ministers France, Germany and the Netherlands said it was necessary to tighten checks on biofuel production sites "wherever they are located in the world".
Certification of foreign biofuel as sustainable should be "rejected in case of refusal of access to the premises," the note said.
An EU diplomat said no objections to the proposal were raised at the meeting but no action was taken either, with the matter left with the European Commission to follow up.
The Commission did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Commission is conducting several probes into biofuel imports, including one on biodiesel from Indonesia potentially circumventing EU duties and another on possible dumping of low-priced biodiesel from China.
Biodiesel is among the alternative fuels promoted to reduce carbon emissions in transport and Europe has encouraged use of recycled oil instead of virgin vegetable oil.
Some US producers have also complained about a jump in shipments of recycled oil from China.
The EU biodiesel industry, which the Commission says is worth €31 billion euros a year, has been the subject of regular disputes with trading partners, notably over the use of palm oil which the EU sees as a cause of deforestation.

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