EU Propose Sliding-Scale Tariffs on Chinese BEVs

Trade regulators wind up investigation into unfair Chinese government support for its automakers charging cooperative brands less duty than others.

Paul Myles, European Editor

June 12, 2024

1 Min Read
BYD Seagull profile
'Cheap' BEVs like BYD's Seagull targeted by new tariffs.

European Union regulators propose slapping punitive tariffs on Chinese imported battery-electric vehicles but tailored to favor the automakers who helped in its investigation of unfair state support.

The bloc’s trading standards body, the European Commission, completed its investigations into China’s automakers five months early and it “provisionally concluded” to impose new tariffs on imports from July 4, 2024, “should discussions with Chinese authorities not lead to an effective solution”, reports BBC News.

However, the extra tariffs, over and above the existing 10% import duty from a third-party nation, will be on a sliding scale dependent on the level of cooperation its investigators received from different brands.

This means the giant SAIC group will face a total tariff of 48.1% on all its products imported to Continental markets, Geely will be hit by a 30% tariff, while BYD will only face a total of 27.4% in duties.

The Commission assesses components used in the construction of the automakers’ products and how much enjoyed unfair subsidies from the Chinese state to allow them to build BEVs far cheaper than legacy manufacturers in Europe.

Nonetheless, the new tariffs are far less drastic than the blanket 100% tariff imposed on Chinese BEVs by the U.S. last month.

Europe’s move was greeted by a dark warning from China's foreign ministry spokesperson In Jian, saying the Commission’s action was "a typical case of protectionism", adding it threatens “China-EU economic and trade cooperation and the stability of the global automobile production and supply chain.”

However, there is still a chance that a qualified majority of 15 EU nations, representing at least 65% of the bloc’s population, votes against the tariffs. If they don’t, then the duties will definitely apply from November.

About the Author(s)

Paul Myles

European Editor, Informa Group

Paul Myles is an award-winning journalist based in Europe covering all aspects of the automotive industry. He has a wealth of experience in the field working at specialist, national and international levels.

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