European General Court upholds duties on Indonesian biodiesel
After two years of litigation, in December the EU General Court rejected all arguments brought forward by Indonesian exporters to justify their request to annul the countervailing duties imposed by the EU on biodiesel imports from Indonesia.
Regarding the claim that the European Commission failed to consider all relevant data to establish undercutting, the court confirmed that the Indonesian exporters had information that enabled them to understand the EC’s calculation, and that the EC did not commit a manifest error of assessment.
Moreover, since there was no error in the calculation of price undercutting, the court ruled that the EC could not be criticized for taking undercutting into account for the purpose of assessing its effects on the EU industry.
Importantly, rejecting all Indonesians’ arguments, the court confirmed that the export tax is indeed subsidy within the meaning of the EU’s basic antisubsidy regulation.
Moreover, in addition to the fact that there was lack of cooperation by Indonesian parties in this case, the court ruled that the Indonesian government entrusted or directed the crude palm oil (CPO) suppliers to provide their goods for less than adequate remuneration.
The court also dismissed the arguments that the EC committed a manifest error of assessment in calculating the amount of the benefit conferred by the Oil Palm Plantation Fund scheme, by not deducting the transport costs.
“We are very pleased that the General Court upheld the imposition of definitive countervailing duties on biodiesel coming from Indonesia, protecting the European biodiesel industry from unfair Indonesian subsidies,” said Xavier Noyon, the secretary general of the European Biodiesel Board. “The European biodiesel industry has been working hard to ensure a level playing field between EU and non-EU biodiesel producers, and these duties are a big part of that effort.”