Brussels, 22 May 2006
Evasion of anti-dumping duties under
False declarations of origin are a classic method used by fraudsters
when they try to evade European Union anti-dumping duties. Smugglers ship goods
such as steel products, chemical compounds or office material from, say, China
or India through another country thereby trying to conceal their real origin
before entering the European Union territory. The evasion of anti-dumping duties
harms the European taxpayer and has the added consequence that products which
enter the EU market in this way can cause serious damage to legitimate
businesses. During the past two days the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) has
discussed this situation with the authorities and business representatives of
the United Arab Emirates (UEA) during a seminar on anti-fraud issues and the
development of closer co-operation hosted by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and
“European Union anti-dumping duties are levied in order to protect
European companies from unfair competition. Evading them harms the EU economy
and EU taxpayers”, OLAF Director General Franz-Hermann Brüner said.
“Reinforcing international cooperation is an essential tool in the fight
against this type of fraud”, he added.
During the seminar hosted by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry
(DCCI) in Dubai, OLAF discussed with representatives from the Federal Ministry
of Economy and Planning, UAE Customs, the Chambers of Commerce and Industry from
several Emirates and the Free Zone Authorities the issue of evasion of
anti-dumping duties. This dialogue is aimed to strengthen and develop the
long-standing co-operation between the UAE and OLAF and their joint fight
against commercial fraud.
OLAF has a long experience with investigations in the field of this kind of
- A recent joint OLAF-UAE investigation concerned, inter alia, the fraudulent
supplies of Chinese steel wire ropes via Dubai to Spain in the European
Community. The European importer falsely declared the goods as UAE-product.
Consequently, the importer evaded payment of the anti-dumping duties imposed by
the Community on the Chinese product and, in addition, benefited from tariff
preferences granted by the Community to products originating in the UAE. The
evidence collected by OLAF in the joint investigation in the UAE enabled the
Spanish authorities to recover several million Euros of import duties.
- Steel wire ropes had also been in the focus of OLAF investigations in the
past: for example, stainless steel wire manufactured in India had been imported
into the Community via intermediaries in the UAE in violation of the
anti-dumping and countervailing duty regulations introduced on such products.
The applicable regulations in force at the time applied anti-dumping and
countervailing duty rates ranging up to 55.6% on the value of the imported
By means of false declarations of origin more than 6 million
euros in anti-dumping and countervailing duties was evaded. The alleged UAE
producers had claimed to process the Indian raw material to an extent which
conferred UAE origin. OLAF initiated and coordinated the case in close
cooperation with the competent services from 12 Member States, and was given
full assistance by the competent authorities in the UAE and India. More than
€ 4 million of the evaded duties has been recovered.
- On the basis of information provided by both economic operators and a Member
State’s customs administration, OLAF opened an external enquiry concerning
the importation of ring binder mechanisms into the Community under cover of
preferential certificates of origin from Thailand. These were suspected to be of
Chinese origin, in which case anti-dumping duties of 78.8% would have been due.
An OLAF mission to Thailand confirmed initial suspicions that only a third of
the mechanisms were assembled in Thailand, while the remainder was imported
directly from China. In addition, the assembly process in Thailand was such that
none of the product could be considered as of genuine Thai origin. The
authorities in Thailand co-operated fully. The duties to be recovered total more
than € 3 million.
- Another OLAF investigation concerned the fraudulent importation of
persulphates into the European Union. This investigation was opened on the basis
of information received from a number of Member States and industry sources.
Persulphates are chemical compounds used as oxidising agents and bleaches in
such varied domains as the chemical industry, food conservation, medical
analysis and petroleum extraction. The investigation established that
persulphates originating from China had been imported into the territory of the
European Union in violation of anti-dumping regulations. The regulations
applicable at the time applied an anti-dumping duty of 83.3% on the value of the
imported goods. By means of false declarations of origin, more than € 5
million in anti-dumping duties was evaded. OLAF initiated and co-ordinated the
case in close co-operation with the competent services from seven Member States.
More than € 2.5 million of the evaded duties has been
For more information on the European Union Trade-Defence
Instruments check the website of the European Commission Directorate General
more information on OLAF check our website:
Spokesman of the European Anti-Fraud Office
Tel : +32 (0)2 296.5425
Fax : +32 (0)2