EU China Bulb Tariff To Remain
By Stewart Douglas
August 29, 2007
European Union authorities have today announced their decision to maintain current import tariffs on energy efficient light bulbs from China, which would otherwise flood the market and hinder internal industry.
The European Commission took the decision to maintain the tariffs which are designed to stop the market flooding with cheap Chinese import goods. At present rates, the tariff can increase the unit price by more than 66%, to protect existing European markets and product quality.
The European Commission took the measure to allow internal manufacturers time to adjust and grow to market conditions, whilst implemented to prevent the threat from external cheap labour and inferior quality goods.
However, analysts have questioned the reasoning behind the decision, with only one major manufacturer officially requesting more time to settle down hardly seeming representative of the marketplace.
The measure will still have to be passed by a majority of Member States, who have been given a deadline of one month to make their minds up on whether or not the measure should be maintained to promote internal production.
Political commentators have criticised the move, which prevents a mass of potential energy savings through the efficient light bulbs ruined. The rationale behind their thinking stands that by imposing the tariff, the EU are out pricing energy efficient bulbs as compared to standard energy intensive bulbs.
Environmentalists have also cited the potential consumer and energy savings through promoting foreign import bulbs as one of their main points of opposition, calling on the EU to reconsider its move for the sake of the environment.
However officials have justified the move as being contradictors to the ‘broad range of EU interests’. One major manufacturer, Philips, has called for the tariff to be removed, for reasons including the fact that they manufacture heavily in China.