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Government accepts recommendations on import measures for biodiesel

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The UK government has with the Trade Remedies Authority’s recommendation on anti-dumping and countervailing measures on imports of biodiesel from the USA and Canada.
After reviewing the measures on biodiesel imports, which were transitioned from the European Union system when the UK left the EU, the Trade Remedies Authority (TRA) recommended that existing tariffs on imports of fatty-acid mono-alkyl esters (FAME) biodiesel be kept at their current levels for five years from 30 January 2021, but that tariffs on imports of hydrotreated vegetable oils (HVO) biodiesel be removed.
The UK has an established FAME production industry, but no domestic HVO production. This means that the UK’s FAME production industry will continue to be protected from dumped and subsidised biodiesel which is exported from the US (and in some cases consigned from Canada), but that HVO from these countries can be imported, which will benefit the UK’s agricultural and transport industries as well as users of oil-fired heating.
FAME and HVO are created using a wide variety of oils and animal fats, including used cooking oils, animal fats/tallow, soya oil, rapeseed oil and sunflower oil.
FAME is produced through esterification while HVO, also known as renewable biodiesel, is made by hydrotreating used vegetable oils.
Both types of biodiesel are added to diesel to produce a blended road fuel which is sold at petrol stations. HVO performs better in this use and is also suitable for a range of other uses.
The TRA’s investigations found that Government-subsidised producers in the US would be likely to dump FAME biodiesel in the UK in the future and cause harm to UK industry if the measures no longer applied.
Although the TRA found that dumping of HVO would also be likely to occur if the duty were no longer applied, there would be no injury to domestic manufacturers/businesses as there is no HVO industry in the UK.
In addition, HVO is more expensive than FAME so the imports are unlikely to compete with domestically produced FAME.
The TRA also established that there is demand for HVO in the UK for use in heating buildings as it offers a cost-effective and more environmentally friendly alternative to existing heating fuels.