LEVA Europe is calling for evidence from within the cycling industry following allegations that European importers are being asked to pay deposits prior to release of their electric bikes and associated components.
The organisation, which has to date acted on behalf of the Collective of European Importers of Electric Bicycles in defending a case for dumping duties on Chinese-sourced electric bikes, writes: “LEVA-EU is receiving information about importers throughout Europe being confronted with a 189% deposit to be paid for their electric bicycles from China to be released.
“We are also receiving growing evidence of customs and forwarders stating that bicycle components for electric bicycles (i.e. frames, forks, derailleur, handlebars, etc.) are subject to 48.5% anti-circumvention duties.”
It must be stressed that, at this time, hard evidence is still to be verified; the organisation is simply calling for evidence of a practice that it, and UK importers CI.N has spoken with on the matter, deem “illegal”. If indeed occurring, as is suggested, this does not yet concern final tariffs, simply registration deposits in order to access stock.
A distributor that CI.N spoke to this morning said the developing situation was of grave concern to businesses importing e-Bikes from China and that “should backdating with no accountable percentage occur on July 23rd, it’d be illegal and lawyers will be rubbing their hands together.” Other UK importers added that measures have been undertaken to shunt assembly away from China in a bid to dodge future legislative turbulence.
“We need written evidence,” said Annick Roetynck of Leva who suggests that companies will go out of business if the practice is indeed occurring.