The European commission received an anti-dumping complaint against Shimano in July 2000. It had been lodged by SRAM.
"Despite all the efforts of the bicycle industry and trade to avoid anti-dumping duties, and despite the fact that these duties might injure the European bicycle business at all levels, the EU Commission and the country representatives decided to impose an anti-dumping duty of 11.3 percent," said Frank Peiffer, marketing director of Shimano Europa.
The European Commission had recommended ministers vote for the duty and yesterday Shimano lost by eight votes to seven.
In favour of the duty were Ireland, Greece, Austria, France, Spain, Portugal,
Germany and Belgium. Against were Netherlands, Italy, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Luxemburg and the UK.
The Commission concluded that the sole EU manufacturer SRAM Deutschland GmbH (SRAM, European?), of Schweinfurt, Germany, had been suffering economically because of "dumped Japanese gear hubs", which, said the Commission, were being sold at 36.6 percent below cost price.
The duty will apply to hubs of a cycle wheel with an integrated wheel system, with three or more gears It will also be levied on imports of coaster braking hubs, hub brakes and "hubs without free-wheel of braking device," where these components are combined with an integrated (three plus) gear system.
The duty will come into force as soon as it is announced in the EU's Official Journal in a few days time and will last for five years.
Shimano cannot appeal against the European Commission's decision because it is a customs matter not a court judgement. After one year Shimano could ask for a re-investigation, which would take up to 15 months to complete.
"We are very disappointed that this decision has been taken despite major opposition from the whole bicycle industry through Europe. We can only hope that the effect will be less drastic than expected across the industry," said Peiffer.
"We are grateful to the numerous people, companies and associations who were against duties and who took an active stance towards the EU and the general public by expressing their views and concerns.
"Whatever the final impact of the anti-dumping duty, Shimano will keep on developing and investing in internal hub gears, as we strongly believe they represent a major part of the future bicycle market."
Why did a non-European company file a complaint to the EU against another non-European company? Is filing an anti-dumping case a shrewd way to spike a competitor? For an archive article from the Wall Street Journal, click on this link: