News article

01/02/2007

Commission decision harms European competitiveness

The producers of nonwovens, members of EDANA, the International Association serving the Nonwovens and Related Industries, are extremely concerned by the decision of the European Commission to introduce provisional punitive duties on imports of polyester staple fibres (PSF) from Malaysia and Taiwan.
Anti-dumping duties on polyester staple fibres discriminate against European Nonwovens producers
The producers of nonwovens, members of EDANA, the International Association serving the Nonwovens and Related Industries, are extremely concerned by the decision of the European Commission to introduce provisional punitive duties on imports of polyester staple fibres (PSF) from Malaysia and Taiwan. The duties, which have entered into force on 29 December 2006, reach up to 23% for Malaysian and 29.5% for Taiwanese fibres.

The Commission measures considerably weaken the position of the European Nonwovens industry. The producers of nonwovens, members of EDANA, are very concerned that European nonwovens and fibrefill producers who are using polyester staple fibres are being directly adversely affected. These measures on imports from Malaysia and Taiwan add to those already in place on imports from Belarus, China, the Republic of Korea and Saudi Arabia. This means that nearly 80% of all polyester staple fibres imported into the EU are subject to these taxes.

EDANA supports free and fair trade for nonwovens and their raw materials. While the producers of nonwovens, members of EDANA, recognise that the European Commission must act against dumping if it causes injury, it is, however, simply not the case that all relevant polyester producing companies outside of the EU are dumping.

All EU nonwovens producers using polyester staple fibres will suffer. As their non-EU competitors benefit from cheaper fibres, EU companies are artificially discriminated against by the price competition. The fibre represents, for most nonwovens products, 50% or more of the overall production costs. Therefore, anti-dumping duties may result in losses of jobs, competitiveness and markets.

For a number of years the European polyester fibre industry has no longer been in a position to satisfy the demand in the EU. This holds especially true for low melt polyester fibres that today are hardly produced in the EU. It is for reasons of availability, quality and price that European nonwoven producers need to import fibres from the Far East. Asian suppliers use very modern equipment which makes them more efficient and competitive compared to European fibre producers who have invested little in terms of upgrading their machinery and capabilities. This has simply nothing to do with dumping.

The producers of nonwovens, members of EDANA, are also concerned about the lack of weight given to the arguments of the users in such procedures as part of the so-called Community interest. In this case as well as in others we see ourselves confronted with an unacceptable chain of systematic complaints from the European synthetic fibre association (CIRFS).

The producers of nonwovens, members of EDANA, request the European Commission to terminate the anti-dumping proceeding on PSF from Malaysia and Taiwan and to lift the duties as they are not in the interest of the European Community.

Notes to editor:
  • The anti-dumping measures imposed by the European commission
    • The European Commission imposed provisional measures against PSF imported from Malaysia and Taiwan on 22 December 2006. The duties entered into force on 29 December 2006 and will last for a period of six months.
  • Low melt polyester fibres (LMP)
    • LMP is a bi-component fibre comprised of a polyester core and a sheath of copolymer polyester. LMP is used to bind conventional PSF together to form a nonwoven bat suitable for bulk uses, such as bed furnishing, pillow stuffing and other filtration materials
    • LMP is hardly produced in the EU
  • European nonwoven industry
    • EDANA is a Brussels based trade association that represents more than 90% of the nonwoven production in the EU
    • The European nonwoven industry represented by EDANA directly employs 16,000 workers in the EU with turnover of € 4,610 million in economic activity in 2005.
    • The EU nonwoven industry needs to import at least 40% of PSF from outside the EU because the capacity in Europe is not sufficient to meet the demand.
For further information, please contact
Marc Guiraud, Regulatory Affairs Director, EDANA or
Catherine Lennon, Communications Director, EDANA
Telephone: +32 2 734 93 10 / Fax: +32 2 733 35 18
E-mail: marc.guiraud@edana.org; Catherine.lennon@edana.org
Website: www.edana.org
EDANA | Avenue Herrmann Debroux 46-B-1160 Brussels, Belgium | Tel: +32 2 734 93 10