Bicycle parts from China

Exemption of imports of essential bicycle parts originating in China from the anti-dumping duty through application of the end-use procedure

Operators can be exempted from the anti-dumping duty if they bring in or have delivered to them no more than 299 units of certain essential bicycle parts originating in China per calendar month, provided that the parts are declared for the end-use procedure.

A definitive anti-dumping duty was imposed by Council Regulation (EC) No 71/97 on imports of certain bicycle parts from the People's Republic of China. The anti-dumping duty was last continued through Council Regulation (EU) No 502/2013.  Commission Regulation (EC) No 88/97 specifies the cases where the importer is exempted from the anti-dumping duty.

One of cases concerns small-scale operators, who declare for the procedure or have delivered to them, placed under the procedure, less than 300 units per type of essential bicycle parts per calendar month (i.e. no more than 299 units, according to the de minimis rule). Such imports are considered to be of limited economic significance, and will be unlikely to undermine the effect of the anti-dumping duty. A condition for exemption from the anti-dumping duty is the use of the end-use procedure, because Customs must be able to control the number of bicycle parts that are in the possession of the trader.

What bicycle parts does the exemption concern?

The commodity codes of the essential bicycle parts are established in Article 1 of Council Regulation (EC) No 71/97 (the commodity codes have been updated to correspond to current situation):

  • Painted or anodized or polished and/or lacquered bicycle frames (current code text: Painted, anodized, polished and/or lacquered), CN code ex8714 91 10
  • Painted or anodized or polished and/or lacquered bicycle front forks (current code text: Painted, anodized, polished and/or lacquered), CN code ex8714 91 30
  • derailleur gears, CN code 8714 99 50
  • crank-gear, CN code 8714 96 30
  • free-wheel sprocket-wheels, CN code 8714 93 00, whether or not presented in sets
  • other brakes, CN code 8714 94 20
  • brake levers, CN code 8714 94 90, whether or not presented in sets
  • Complete wheels with or without tubes, tyres and sprockets, CN code 8714 99 90
  • Handlebars, CN code 8714 99 10, whether or not presented with a stem, brake and/or gear levers attached.

No more than 299 units of above-mentioned goods per calendar month can be declared for free circulation on account of their end-use by a small-scale operator or received, declared for end-use, from another operator. In the definitions of essential bicycle parts, it has been specifically mentioned, for both free-wheel sprocket-wheels and brake levers, that they can be presented in sets or separately. This means that if these parts are presented in sets, no more than 299 units of sets per calendar month can be released for free circulation on account of their end-use.

The Commission has stated that, regardless of the wording of the regulation, even other brakes (CN code 8714 94 20) and complete wheels (CN code 8714 99 90) are also to be treated as sets as needed. The Commission states that, regardless of the wording of the regulation, the purpose is that the operator can assemble 299 bicycles per calendar month. This means that 299 units of sets of other brakes and complete wheels can be placed under the end-use procedure per calender months, and in that way they are exempted from the anti-dumping duty. This new interpretation can be applied retroactively from 30 September 2016. An operator can apply for revision from Customs, if they have paid anti-dumping duty for parts that according to the new interpretation are exempted from anti-dumping duty.

Conditions for exemption from anti-dumping duty

The end-use procedure is laid down in the Union Customs Code (Regulation (EU) No 952/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council), the Delegated Act (Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2015/2446) and the Implementing Act (Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/2447). These provisions are observed, where applicable, concerning exemption from the anti-dumping duty of essential bicycle parts originating in China and imported by small-scale operators.

The application of the end-use procedure is subject to authorisation by the customs authority. The authorisation can be applied for in advance from the Customs Authorisation Centre (standard authorisation) or by providing certain supplementary information required for the authorisation on a customs declaration concerning the release of goods for free circulation under the end-use procedure (authorisation applied for with a customs declaration).

The application of the end-use procedure also requires the lodging of a guarantee. The guarantee is required both for the customs debt that is incurred when the goods are released for free circulation and for the import duties not levied on account of the end-use procedure (includes also the anti-dumping duty).

The holder of the authorisation must present the bill of discharge to the supervising customs office within 30 days after the expiry of the time-limit for the discharge of the end-use procedure. When the supervising customs office can confirm, based on the bill of discharge, that the procedure has been appropriately applied, the reserved guarantee is released.

Particular conditions for granting an authorisation to use the end-use procedure

Authorisation to use the end-use procedure can only be granted if the operator meets the general conditions for granting the authorisation for end-use and if Customs finds it credible that no more than 299 units of essential bicycle parts per calendar month are placed under the procedure by the operator or delivered, placed under the procedure, to the operator.  However, 2 x 299 units of the following goods can be placed under the procedure, i.e. they can be imported presented in sets:

  • free-wheel sprocket-wheels, CN code 8714 93 00, whether or not presented in sets
  • other brakes, CN code 8714 94 20
  • brake levers, CN code 8714 94 90, whether or not presented in sets
  • Complete wheels with or without tubes, tyres and sprockets, CN code 8714 99 90

Also, according to the Commission, the prescribed end-use of the bicycle parts does not necessarily have to be assembly or manufacturing of bicycles, but it is sufficient that the goods remain under the procedure until the end of the month of import. In practice, this means that when the month of import (the month when the goods were placed under the procedure) is over, the goods are no longer under customs supervision.

The operator must see to that the number of bicycle parts placed under the procedure per calendar month and exempted from the anti-dumping duty based on the de minimis clause does not exceed 299 units per month.

Customs monitors the procedure, and if it notices that the de minimis rule is repeatedly violated, the authorisation will be revoked according to Article 28 of the UCC.

Compared to the normal end-use procedure, the following exceptions can be accepted upon this kind of imports:

  • The holder of the authorisation does not have to assemble the bicycles itself. The goods can also be declared for the end-use procedure by another person (e.g. just an importer).
  • The end-use prescribed for the bicycle parts does not have to be assembly of bicycles, but it is sufficient that the goods remain under the end-use procedure until the end of the calendar month when the goods were placed under the procedure.
  • During the month of import, the goods can be transferred to another operator through transfer of rights and obligations of the holder of the procedure (TORO).
  • However, the goods don’t need to be kept stored until the end of the month of import. Instead, the holder of the authorisation itself can assemble them to a bicycle, which will already be delivered to the final customer during the month when the goods should still be under customs supervision. In that case, no TORO is required, but it is considered that the prescribed end-use has been proved.
  • The total number of the essential bicycle parts (or parts presented in sets) that the holder of the authorisation has placed under the procedure or has received through TORO from another operator may not exceed 299 units per calendar month.

If the operator exceeds the de minimis limit, i.e. places under the procedure or has delivered to it, more than 299 units per type of essential bicycle parts per calendar month, a customs debt is only incurred for the goods that exceed this number.

                            

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