Deloitte Tax: US Bioethanol imports subject to registration in the European Union

Publish date: 17-09-2012
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The European Commission may impose to the customs authorities from the member states to register US bioethanol imports, following the complaint lodged by The European Producers Union of Renewable Ethanol Association (ePure).

The European Commission, in its bid to protect its markets against subsidized imports from outside the European Union, may impose to the customs authorities from the member states to take the necessary steps to register bioethanol imports that may harm to the European market.

The European Producers Union of Renewable Ethanol Association (ePure) had lodged a complaint in 2011 with the European Union over a flood of US imports of bioethanol to the European Union.  

After the complaint was lodged, the European Commission concluded that there was enough evidence for imports of bioethanol to be subject to registration.

The Commission's investigation is still on-going and will end on 24 May 2013. During the respective period, the United States ceased its subsidy program and the European Commission consequently decided not to adopt provisional countervailing duties.  

"The European Commission has evidence that the United States may reinstate its subsidy scheme in the future with retroactive effects.  The European Commission has therefore indicated that their measures may be applied retroactively against imports of bioethanol from the date when they are registered by the Customs authorities. Imports need to be registered for a nine-month period, beginning on 24 August 2012”, said Mihai Petre, Senior Manager Customs & Global Trade within Deloitte Romania.

The products concerned are bioethanol (sometimes referred to as 'fuel ethanol') i.e. ethyl alcohol produced from agricultural products, denatured or un-denatured, excluding products with a water content of more than 0.3%, as well as ethyl alcohol produced from agricultural products contained in blends with gasoline with an ethyl alcohol content of more than 10%.  

"If your company imports into the EU the aforementioned products originating in the United States, each shipment will need to be registered with your local Customs Authorities.  This means you will have to provide additional information on your import declarations, regarding the proportion of the blend (by weight) of the total content of ethyl alcohol produced from agricultural products”, Mihai Petre said.

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