Brexit negotiations between the UK and the EU may be up in the air with just three weeks of the transition period remaining – but there is now clarity on one issue vital to the country’s cycling industry, with the government today performing a U-turn over scrapping anti-dumping measures on bicycles and e-bikes made in China.
Previously, the Department for International Trade (DIT) had indicated that it would do away with the trade defence measures, implemented by the EU in 1993 and extended a number of times since then to currently expire at the end of 2024.
The measures, which impose a 48.5 per cent tariff, are designed to prevent China flooding the EU market with cheap bicycles, forcing local manufacturers out of business and costing jobs, and also raising safety concerns.
The rules also apply to several other countries (Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines Sri Lanka and Tunisia) which Chinese manufacturers have tried to use to circumvent the measures.
But today the Bicycle Association (BA), the UK trade body for the cycling industry and which is neutral on the issue of tariffs given what it terms the wide range of views of its members on the issue, told them that the DIT will now keep the measures in place in the New Year, reversing its previous decision.
The DIT also said that from 1 January, the UK will suspend retaliatory tariffs related to the ongoing Boeing-Airbus dispute, which added an extra 25 per cent duty to bicycle frames, forks and parts originating from the USA.
Peter Eland, the BA’s Technical Manager, commented: “The industry will very much appreciate the certainty we now have on both of these issues.
“In the run-up to the end of the Brexit transition period importers have been in a very difficult position, ordering goods to serve the unprecedented demand in the UK cycle market without full clarity on the tariff rates which will be payable when shipments arrive.
“We are pleased that these two tariff issues are now resolved – and look forward to supporting the industry as we move through the Brexit transition on a host of further issues, not least the arrangements for trading between GB and Northern Ireland.
“I would urge any company not already a member of the BA to join so that we can support them through the changes to come,” he added.
The BA added that it “will continue to engage on behalf of its members on trade issues post-Brexit, providing the earliest possible intelligence and certainty.”
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.