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  • Writer's pictureRon Kotrba

UK government keeps tariffs on US, Canadian biodiesel but removes duties on renewable diesel

The U.K. government agreed Nov. 10 with the Trade Remedies Authority’s recommendation on antidumping and countervailing measures on imports of biodiesel from the U.S. and Canada.

After reviewing the measures on biodiesel imports, which were transitioned from the European Union system when the U.K. left the EU, the TRA recommended that existing tariffs on imports of fatty-acid mono-alkyl esters (FAME) biodiesel be kept at their current levels for five years from Jan. 30, 2021, but that tariffs on imports of hydrotreated vegetable oils (HVO), also referred to as renewable diesel, be removed.

“The U.K. has an established FAME production industry but no domestic HVO production,” TRA stated, even though Phillips 66 produces HVO and sustainable aviation fuel at its Humber refinery. “This means that the U.K.’s FAME production industry will continue to be protected from dumped and subsidized biodiesel [that] is exported from the U.S. (and in some cases consigned from Canada), but that HVO from these countries can be imported, which will benefit the U.K.’s agricultural and transport industries as well as users of oil-fired heating.”

FAME and HVO are created using a wide variety of oils and animal fats, including used cooking oils, animal fats/tallow, soy oil, rapeseed oil and sunflower oil.

FAME is produced through esterification while HVO is made by hydrotreating.

Both types of biofuel can be added to petroleum diesel to produce a blended road fuel, which is sold at retail stations.

“The TRA’s investigations found that government-subsidized producers in the U.S. would be likely to dump FAME biodiesel in the U.K. in the future and cause harm to U.K. industry if the measures no longer applied,” TRA stated. “Although the TRA found that dumping of HVO would also be likely to occur if the duty were no longer applied, there would be no injury to domestic manufacturers/businesses as there is no HVO industry in the U.K. In addition, HVO is more expensive than FAME so the imports are unlikely to compete with domestically produced FAME. The TRA also established that there is demand for HVO in the U.K. for use in heating buildings as it offers a cost-effective and more environmentally friendly alternative to existing heating fuels.”


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