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EU cracks down on Cambodian bikes

The European Union has slapped import duties on Cambodian bicycle exporters it charges with flooding the European market with cut-rate, Chinese-sourced bicycles.

The 48.5 per cent duty expands the scope of anti-dumping duties on bicycles from China passed in 2013 to bikes from Cambodia, Pakistan and the Philippines, countries that have been used to circumvent the duties in China.

Cambodia, which benefits from a zero-tariff agreement with the EU under the Everything But Arms scheme, saw its bike exports to the EU almost triple from 2011 to 1.4 million in the period between September 2013 and August 2014, the European Commission’s report said.

Although part of the increase was due to a rise in exports from “genuine” manufacturers, much of it came from exporters who had “no economic justification [to be in Cambodia] other than the duty”, the report said.

Nevertheless, three of the five Cambodian companies who cooperated with the commission’s investigation are exempt from the duties as they had either demonstrated an absence of ties to China or a lack of circumvention motive.

The European Commission began investigating the issue based on a 2014 request from the European Bicycle Manufacturers Association (EBMA).

Although the report stated that Cambodian authorities provided some information about Chinese bicycle imports, they “do not carry out cross checks between the Chinese export statistics and respective local import statistics”.

The Ministry of Commerce did not respond to a request for comment.

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