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EU: Investigation on subsidised electric cars from China

The European Commission opened an anti-subsidy investigation into imports of Chinese BEVs. This is what is all about.

The investigation will first look at whether illegal subsidies benefit Chinese BEV value chains and if this hurts EU BEV manufacturers. If both are accurate, the study will assess the potential effects of the proposed rules on battery electric vehicle imports, users, and consumers in the EU. The Commission will determine whether anti-subsidy levies on Chinese battery electric vehicle imports are in the best interests of the EU after looking into unfair trade practises.

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen stated that the investigation will adhere to strict EU and WTO legal procedures and allow all parties, including the Chinese government and companies/exporters, to present their comments, evidence, and arguments in her State of the European Union (SOTEU) speech on September 13.

According to Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, "the electric vehicle sector has huge potential for Europe's future competitiveness and green industrial leadership." In order to fully realise this promise, EU automakers and related businesses are investing and growing. We will take swift action if we find that unfair competition and market distortions are impeding their efforts. Since Europe abides by the law on a national and international level, we will honour our obligations under the EU and other agreements. The investigation of anti-subsidies shall be thorough, objective, and fact-based.

Case of self-initiative

After determining that there was sufficient evidence to suggest that the EU's electrical car industry was in danger due to the recent surge in cheap and subsidised Chinese electric vehicle imports, the Commission launched an ex officio investigation.

EU anti-subsidy legislation compel participation in the ex officio investigation, even if EU business did not submit a complaint to start proceedings.

Prior to releasing the Notice of Initiation, pre-initiation consultations with the Chinese government were required under EU and WTO regulations.

Process and subsequent actions

The Notice of Initiation, which was made public today, outlines the accusations as well as the procedure for determining whether or not subsidies pose a risk to the EU industry.

The investigation will terminate 13 months after it begins. Interim anti-subsidy duties may be imposed nine months after the investigation begins, and final measures may be imposed four months later or thirteen months later, depending on the statute.

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