Brian Montgomery of the European Bicycle Manufacturers' Association made his claims at a meeting of the Italian bicycle industry meeting in Bologna on Saturday. The meeting was called by ANCMA, Associazione Nazionale Ciclo Motociclo e Accessori, the Italian trade organisation, and attended by Pasquale de Micco of the Italian Ministry of Production/Commerce, the ministry in charge of matters anti-dumping.
ANCMA organised the meeting to review progress in the matter of the Italian industrysobjection to the removal of anti-dumping duties on China and followed the meeting on 8th February, see link below.
Montgomery claimed Chinese bicycle manufacturers, some of them state-owned, make use export subsidies of 14 percent on Chinese bicycles and parts, which is forbidden by WTO rules.
"Why is China is still considered as a member of the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) for bicycles when they have the capacity to produce 80 percent of the worlds bicycles?" asked Montgomery.
"The system that mainland [Chinese] bicycle makers are using in sending containers of bicycles to Europe, but the complete shipment papers for import are coming to the European port of arrival from friends in Taiwan (or another bicycle producing country in the Far-East with Chinese connections) is all done to escape the anti-dumping duty," said Montgomery.
He also claims Chinese companies are stockpiling bicycles in some of the ten countries which will join the EU on May 1st, when the EU-15 becomes the EU-25.
"These bicycles are already there, or are in shipment, not to serve the EU-10 markets, because the quantities are very much greater in the period than previous years, but to be ready to be shipped to the EU-15 after the 1st May. After this date the present duties which apply to the EU-15 will apply to the EU-10 where present duty rates are lower."
Pasquale de Micco said the Italian Ministry of Production/Commerce was working to prevent such circumnavigation.
The enlargement of the EU to include 10 new member states was taken at a meeting in in Copenhagen in December 2002. The ten are Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia, plus the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, and the Mediterranean islands of Malta and Cyprus. The EU has comprised 15 member states since 1995.