The European Commission said Saturday it had launched anti-dumping investigations into candles and certain steel products imported from China.
Several European candle producers, including Germany's EIKA and the Netherlands' Bolsius, lodged a complaint to the commission on Jan. 3, alleging Chinese candles flooded the EU market and had a negative impact on the European industry.
"Having determined ... that the complaint has been lodged by or on behalf of the Community industry and that there is sufficient evidence to justify the initiation of a proceeding, the commission hereby initiates an investigation," the EU's executive arm said in its official journal.
The commission also announced the launch of an anti-dumping investigation into certain pre- and post-stressing wires and wire strands of non-alloy steel imported from China, upon a complaint lodged by Eurostress Information Service on behalf of European producers.
In the past two months, the European Commission already opened two anti-dumping investigations into Chinese steel, with one targeting certain hot-dipped metallic-coated iron or steel flat-rolled products and the other concerning stainless steel cold rolled flat products.
Both complaints were raised by the European Confederation of Iron and Steel Industries (Eurofer), a Brussels-based industry body representing major EU steel producers such as ArcelorMittal and ThyssenKrupp.
A third complaint by Eurofer against Chinese wire rod has not been decided by the commission.
European retailers such as Sweden's Ikea fear an increase in the price of candles, which they import in large volumes from China.
The commission's move on Chinese steel was also opposed by the EU steel-consuming industries, such as engineering and shipbuilding.
The EU anti-dumping investigation normally takes no more than a year, and in any case must be completed within 15 months, after which the EU governments have the final say on whether to impose definite anti-dumping duties for five years.
However, during the investigation period, the commission may, within 60 days to nine months, impose provisional duties, which may last for six to nine months.
Under EU rules, before taking provisional anti-dumping measures, the commission must consult its member states, which are set to be divided on the issue.
(Xinhua News Agency February 17, 2008)