BRUSSELS, BELGIUM — The European Renewable Ethanol Association filed a complaint on Jan. 28 with the European Commission's office of complaints claiming countries are circumventing E.U. anti-dumping duties on fuel ethanol.

Following the E.U.’s imposition of anti-dumping duties on imported U.S. fuel ethanol in February 2013, a new pattern of trade from the U.S. to Europe has developed. U.S. exporters are now exporting substantial volumes of fuel ethanol to Norway, ePURE said. Norwegian imports from the U.S. have multiplied by 10 times in just one year. 

As a consequence of this new pattern of trade, Norway has now become one of the top export destinations of U.S. fuel ethanol. U.S. exports to Norway now reach the same level as U.S. exports to Brazil. 

In parallel, fuel ethanol exports from Norway to the E.U. have also increased substantially, mainly in the form of fuel ethanol/gasoline blends (E48). These imports are made at price levels that are significantly undercutting the price of E.U. fuel ethanol. Such price levels indicate that dumping is still occurring. As a result, the E.U. fuel ethanol industry is still being injured by cheap fuel ethanol imports from the U.S., ePURE said.

This new pattern of trade, which started immediately after the imposition of the E.U. duties on U.S. fuel ethanol imports, is the sign of a circumvention practice, which has no other economic justification than the avoidance of the E.U. anti-dumping duties, the group said. 

Such unfair practices are expressly addressed by European anti-dumping rules, which contemplate the extension of anti-dumping duties to imports from third countries, whenever there is evidence that circumvention is taking place with the sole aim of fraudulently concealing the true origin of a product. 

By filing an anti-circumvention complaint, ePURE said it is providing clear evidence to the European Commission that U.S. exporters are engaged in circumvention of the E.U. duties. ePURE is also requesting the European Commission to put an end to these unacceptable trade practices which not only harm the E.U. industry, but also represent millions of euros of lost revenues for the E.U. budget. 

"ePURE is strongly committed to ensuring that E.U. duties are not undermined by unfair and artificial trade practices. We are urging E.U. authorities to extend the scope of the established trade measures in order to stop this circumvention and prevent any further injury to European fuel ethanol producers by circumvented U.S. fuel ethanol,” said Rob Vierhout, ePURE's secretary-general.