European Union to ramp up tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles

Photo: Travel mania/ Shutterstock

The European Union (EU) has revealed plans to add tariffs of up to 38.1% on electric vehicles imported from China.

The new tariffs were announced last week and will be implemented on July 4, although the level of tariff varies between companies.

Manufacturers will also have the chance to appeal the level of tariff being implemented.

Those that co-operated in an EU investigation into the Chinese electric vehicle market will face a 21% tariff and those that did not face 38.1%.

The new tariff is on top of an existing 10% levy on electric vehicles.

“The [European] Commission has provisionally concluded that the battery electric vehicles (BEV) value chain in China benefits from unfair subsidisation, which is causing a threat of economic injury to EU BEV producers,” a press release read.

While fully built electric vehicles are unlikely to be transported by airfreight, commentators have suggested the move could spark a wider trade war with China.

“This investigation is a typical act of protectionism which ignores the facts and the WTO rules,” said China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Lin Jian.

“It goes against the overall trend and will benefit no one. We urge the EU to heed the rational and objective views from various quarters, correct its wrong decision at once, stop turning trade into political issues, properly address economic and trade frictions through dialogue and consultation, and avoid harming the mutual trust, dialogue and cooperation between China and the EU.”

The EU is not alone in implementing tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles in response to fears over the impact of lower cost imports on domestic production.

Turkey has announced a 40% tariff while the US recently announced a 100% tariff.

“The starting pistol is close to being fired for the start of a trade war. The immediate cause is China’s plan to ramp up Electric Vehicles (EV) exports,” said the Independent Commodity Intelligence Services.

Supply chains brace for new US-China tariff war

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Damian Brett

Damian Brett
I have been writing about the freight and logistics industry since 2007 when I joined International Freighting Weekly to cover the shipping sector. After a stint in PR, I have gone on to work for Containerisation International and Lloyds List - where I was editor of container shipping - before joining Air Cargo News in 2015. Contact me on [email protected]