September 15, 2016 / 4:51 PM / 2 years ago

EU court annuls dumping duties on Argentina, Indonesia biodiesel

BRUSSELS, Sept 15 (Reuters) - A European Union court delivered a series of rulings on Thursday to annul anti-dumping duties imposed on exporters of biodiesel from Indonesia and Argentina.

The European Union in November 2013 set duties of 8.8 to 20.5 percent for Indonesian producers and between 22.0 and 25.7 percent for Argentinian producers, in both cases to apply for five years.

The EU argued that by imposing an export duty on the raw product, soybeans in the case of Argentina and palm oil for Indonesia, they gave an advantage to domestic producers, which allowed them then to “dump” product at unfairly low prices.

Argentina and Indonesia, major exporters of biodiesel, have called the EU measures protectionist.

The cases have brought legal challenges, with the General Court of the European Union, the lower of the two EU courts, issuing its ruling on Thursday.

It said that the prices of the raw materials - palm oil or soybeans - were not regulated and that the EU had failed to establish that there was appreciable distortion of the prices as a result of the differential export tax system.

Both Argentina and Indonesia have brought complaints before the WTO, with Argentina securing rulings in favour of several of its claims.

Some trade lawyers say the ruling could have far wider implications and determine future EU trade relations with China.

The European Union, in trying not to treat China as a special case, has said it could use international benchmark prices to work out the costs of producers, for example of steel, to assess whether manufacturers there are dumping product or benefiting from unfair subsidies. (Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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