EU considers retroactive tariffs on Chinese EV imports

Imports and Exports | | MIC Customs Solutions |

Imports of Chinese EVs to the EU will need to be registered with customs authorities from this week ahead of the expected imposition of retroactive tariffs.

The EU is set to consider new proposals to implement tariffs on imports of electric vehicles (EVs) from China, which could be applied retroactively to shipments entering the bloc from this week.

As of Thursday, March 7th, the European Commission (EC) will require customs registration of all Chinese EVs, which may then be subject to tariffs if this is the final recommendation of an ongoing anti-dumping probe into the sector later this year.

The EC is set to complete its investigation in November, with many commentators expecting that it will propose additional duties to protect European automakers in the wake of significant increases of Chinese EV imports in recent years. Provisional tariffs may be announced as early as July.

By requiring vehicles to be registered with customs authorities now, this may prevent Chinese firms from flooding the market with imports in the coming months in order to beat any future tariffs.

European car manufacturers have been raising concerns recently about the growing impact of Chinese brands such as BYD, Geely and SAIC in the single market, which can often undercut domestically-produced alternatives by as much as 20 percent.

A report published this week by the EC said it had uncovered "sufficient evidence" that Chinese EVs are being unfairly subsidized by the country's government. It also revealed that imports have increased by 14 percent year-on-year since the investigation was formally launched in October.

However, it did not indicate what level any retroactive tariffs may be set at in order to counter this.

The China Chamber of Commerce to the EU expressed disappointment at the move, saying that the recent growth in imports "mirrors the increasing demand for electric vehicles in Europe".