EC hangs anti-dumping duties on Chinese fiber-optic cable imports

Nov. 23, 2021
A European Commission (EC) investigation researched potential dumping (the selling of imported goods at unreasonably low rates to undercut domestic suppliers) of single-mode fiber cable and its harm between July 1, 2019, and June 30, 2020.

The European Commission (EC) has assessed anti-dumping duties of between 19.7% and 44% on imports of fiber-optic cables from Chinese suppliers.

The action comes at the conclusion of an investigation launched in December 2020.

The investigation researched potential dumping (the selling of imported goods at unreasonably low rates to undercut domestic suppliers) of single-mode fiber cable and its harm between July 1, 2019, and June 30, 2020.

The “injury” assessment also included an examination of trends from January 1, 2017, to the end of the investigation period.

The EC decided that, thanks to significant subsidization and other benefits from the Chinese government, the Chinese fiber-optic cable suppliers were able to sell their products in Europe at artificially low prices – as much as 44% lower, according to the report.

In fact, prices declined from 452 to 349 euros/cable-km between 2017 and 2020.

The lower prices, the EC investigators say, led the European market share of Chinese fiber-optic cable suppliers to grow from 14.8% to 28.3% from 2017 to 2020, or 91%.

The EC disclosed on June 30, 2021, that it planned to make such an assessment based on the results of its investigation and invited comment from interested parties. Today’s announcement comes after the end of that comment period.

The amount of duty an importing Chinese company will have to pay will depend on how egregiously the investigation determined a company or group of companies abused their position and whether they cooperated in the investigation.

A breakout is provided on page 97 of the EC’s 102-page report.

European-based fiber cable supplier Prysmian Group hailed the decision.

“We welcome today’s European Commission’s decision and it is reassuring to see that Europe is able to strongly act against unfair practices. Fair competition must be ensured in the interest of our customers and stakeholders, to guarantee a sustainable availability of quality components for the construction of the European optical infrastructure,” stated Philippe Vanhille, executive vice president of Prysmian’s Telecom Division.

“We believe it is fundamental to maintain high quality standards in the optical fiber segment, in order to ensure faster, more stable optical networks, cost-effective and environmentally-friendly installations with lower operating costs and an increased network lifespan. Only by doing this will be able to guarantee that the integrity of the network infrastructure is secured, stability is increased across all bands, and possibilities are opened up for system evolution,” Vanhille concluded.

-- Stephen Hardy, LIGHTWAVE

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