Thursday

23rd Mar 2017

Plastic bags from China face EU tax

  • Mr Mandelson is considering anti dumping taxes on plastic bags (Photo: European Community, 2005)

EU trade commissioner Peter Mandelson is set to place tariffs of 15.2 per cent on plastic bags from China and of 14.3 per cent on bags from Thailand, according to media reports.

The move follows an inquiry, which found that plastic bags were being dumped illegally into the EU.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Due to lower raw material and labour costs plastic bags imported from the Far East are estimated to be between 10 per cent and 20 per cent cheaper than those produced in Europe, with annual Chinese exports of plastic bags coming up to $300 million (€235 million).

The inquiry followed a complaint by 30 European producers of certain plastic sacks and bags representing more than 25 per cent of the EU's production in the sector.

Although the 30 withdrew the complaint in February, French industry has kept up pressure and received backing from French transport commissioner Jacques Barrot, according to the Times.

For 30 years Mr Barrot was the president of a trade association that represents the plastics industry in his home region of Haute-Loire.

But British retailers have objected to the tax estimating the tariffs would lead to £60 million (€88 million) of extra cost for carrier bag users.

"The extra costs of plastic bags are just going to be passed on to consumers in higher food and clothes bills. Anti-dumping measures always hit consumers' pockets," said conservative British MEP and member of the European Parliament's international trade committee, Syed Kamall.

Last week three US producers of polyester fiber also filed an anti-dumping duty petition against China, saying Chinese sales at unfair prices are hurting the US industry.

Focus

China tops Europe in plastics production

China last year overtook Europe as the world's largest producer of plastics, with the eurozone slump continuing to deepen the divide, a recent study shows.

Eurozone chief in 'drinks and women' row

[Updated] The Netherlands' Jeroen Dijsselbloem faces calls for resignation after saying that crisis-hit countries in southern Europe spent "money on drinks and women" before being helped by others.

Greek bailout talks to 'intensify'

Greece and its creditors will meet in Brussels later this week to unblock negotiations needed for a new tranche of financial aid, amid concerns over the country's economic situation.

Stolen Russian billions ended up in EU states

Illicit money flowing out of Russia ended up in almost every single EU state, an investigation has found, posing questions on the integrity of Europe’s banking systems.

News in Brief

  1. Russia invites EU diplomats to occupied Crimea
  2. UK parliament in lockdown after reported attack
  3. Brussels attacks remembered with minute of silence and noise
  4. Magnitsky's lawyer injured near Moscow
  5. Trump to travel to Brussels on 25 May for Nato summit
  6. Polish defence minister accuses Tusk of treason
  7. Fillon slips in polls as new allegations emerge
  8. Brexit summit for EU-27 will be on 29 April

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Gaming & Betting AssociationAudiovisual Media Services Directive to Exclude Minors from Gambling Advertisements
  2. ILGA-EuropeTime for a Reality Check on International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
  3. UNICEFHuman Cost to Refugee and Migrant Children Mounts Up One Year After EU-Turkey Deal
  4. Malta EU 2017Council Adopts New Rules to Improve Safety of Medical Devices
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Energy Research: How to Reach 100 Percent Renewable Energy
  6. Party of European SocialistsWe Must Renew Europe for All Europeans
  7. MEP Tomáš ZdechovskýThe European Commission Has Failed in Its Fight Against Food Waste
  8. ILGA-EuropeEP Recognises Discrimination Faced by Trans & Intersex People
  9. Nordic Council of Ministers25 Nordic Bioeconomy Cases for Sustainable Change
  10. Malta EU 2017Consumer Protection Laws to Be Strengthened by EU-Wide Cooperation
  11. European Free AllianceSupporting Artur Mas: Democracy and Freedom Cannot Be Convicted
  12. UNICEFSyria Conflict 6 Years On: Children's Suffering at Its Worst

Latest News

  1. EU declaration to voice unity in troubled times
  2. Terror attack shuts down UK parliament
  3. Catalonia and Scotland at core of Europe's geopolitical conundrum
  4. La présidentielle française sous cyber-alerte maximale
  5. EU doing well in global energy ranking
  6. Child migrants endure 'abysmal conditions'
  7. French socialist woos Europe with new vision
  8. EU to Macedonia: 'Stop playing with fire'