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Trade | Brussels, 26 February 2014

China lifts anti-dumping duties on European X-ray security equipment

China has lifted its anti-dumping duties on European X-ray security equipment following a successful challenge by the EU in the WTO.

Chinese authorities have confirmed that the additional duties for imports from the EU were removed on 19 February 2014.

According to WTO rules, anti-dumping duties can only be imposed under strict conditions where injurious dumping occurs, i.e. when foreign products are sold below fair value and cause damage to industry in the importing country.

In its ruling of February 2013, the WTO panel agreed with the EU that these conditions were not met in case of EU X-ray security equipment sold in China. The panel concluded that China also failed to respect procedures and transparency requirements and accordingly called on Beijing to bring its measures in line with the WTO rules.

The removal of the anti-dumping duties is good news for EU producers of x-ray security equipment. The European Commission will continue to closely monitor the application of trade defence measures in China to ensure that they are only imposed when the WTO's strict conditions are met.

Background

China imposed anti-dumping duties on imports of X-ray security scanners from the EU in January 2011. Ranging from 33.5% to 71.8%, they essentially closed the Chinese market to imports of European X-ray security scanners. The EU saw no justification for the measures, either on substantive or procedural grounds. The Chinese anti-dumping measures were imposed after the EU introduced definitive anti-dumping duties on cargo scanners from China in June 2010. This made Beijing's action look more like retaliation rather than an effort to address a genuine concern about injurious dumping.

In July 2011, the EU requested consultations with China in the WTO. These failed to bring about an acceptable solution and the EU challenged, for the first time ever, a Chinese trade defence measure before a WTO panel. The ruling announced in February 2013 marked a clear victory for the EU. China did not appeal the panel report and was therefore bound to comply with the recommendation to bring its measure into line with WTO rules, before the expiry of the so called “reasonable period of time”, which ended on 19 February 2014.

For more information

Memo about the WTO ruling