TTA is lobbying for the removal of EU Anti-Dumping Duties (ADD) levied on the imports of wall and floor tiles from the People’s Republic of China. It has written to the Department for International Trade, saying these are anti-competitive barriers to trade which serve no purpose in a post-Brexit economy.
The current EU duty, known as AD560, is set at rates varying between 30.6% and 69.7%. The Department for International Trade has stated that these duties will remain in place even after the UK leaves the EU. However the UK’s withdrawal from the EU opens up the possibility of the UK establishing its own national tariff system regarding the import of foreign-made products.
TTA believes the removal of anti-competitive barriers to trade on porcelain tiles, in the first instance, will benefit the UK tile distribution sector and UK customers, by reducing costs on these products.
The intention of the EU ‘Trade Remedy Measures’ has been to protect the interests of European producers from the anti-competitive practice of dumping low cost foreign-made products on to the market. The levies currently apply equally to both ceramic and porcelain tiles, particularly those sourced from The People’s Republic of China
However there are no UK manufacturers of porcelain tiles. So TTA is supporting its members involved in the retail and distribution of porcelain tiles, who are pushing for abolition of the tariff. As applied to porcelain tiles, the duty will serve no purpose once the Brexit transition period ends, since:
- There is no domestic manufacturing base of porcelain tiles to protect.
- The existing duty means retail prices on porcelain tiles are held artificially high.
- The high prices disadvantage retailers of porcelain tiles.
- The high prices disadvantage consumers.
- Maintaining the current Duty prevents retailers and consumers from enjoying the earliest possible benefits of Brexit.
AD560 is due for review by the EU in November 2022, in any case, at which point the Government will set up a new UK Trade Remedies Investigations Directorate, which will be empowered to adjust or remove any duties being levied in the UK market.
“However this is an unacceptably long delay and we are supporting our retail members who are calling for an earlier review,” says Paul Luff, TTA Chairman. “AD560, as applied to porcelain tiles, benefits no one in the UK market – whether manufacturer, distributor or consumer.”