European Consumers’ view on trade defense instruments in the EU Bicycle Industry

This page will outline what consumers’ and consumer associations across Europe have said about using trade defense instruments in order to legitimately defend the EU Bicycle Industry.

Bicycles and E-Bikes in the German Media

ZDF, March 13rd 2019 – This video shows consumers that it is valuable to purchase bicycles and e-bikes from specialized retailers as they offer higher quality bikes with an integrated service than discounters. You can access the video in German here.

ARD, March 1st 2019 – During the German quiz show “Wer weiss denn sowas” attendants were asked what has to be taken into account when importing e-bikes from China to the EU. The right reply was that anti-dumping measures of up to 83% might apply in order to legitimately defend the EU Bicycle, Pedal Assist E-Bikes and Components Industry. You can find the video here, the relevant part starts as of minute 14.

Europe flooded with low-quality Chinese e-bikes:

Algemeen Dagblad, October 27th 2017

Economical cycling is of course pleasant for consumers. Nevertheless, the Fietsersbond thinks that it is good that Europe is taking action against unrestrained imports of e-bikes from China. “The quality is often very poor compared to European e-bikes,” says spokesman Kees Bakker. ,, That does not only spoil the cycling pleasure. Bad parts such as brakes also have a negative effect on safety. ”

You can find the full article here.

Submissions relating to the interests of cycle users and consumers on the Complaint by EBMA and the EU anti-dumping proceeding concerning imports of electric bicycles originating in the People’s Republic of China

December 18th 2017 – In order to realise the benefits of e-bikes to individual consumers and to society manufacturers and retailers must supply e-bikes that are safe and fit for purpose so that they are reliable and encourage frequent use in all conditions. Low price is not the determining factor in whether people cycle more or less. In fact, the evidence we have says that exactly the opposite is the case.

ECF is concerned that this pattern is being repeated for e-bikes, with the additional concern that e-bikes include more technology that cannot be maintained by users and batteries which have extra requirements for safe use and disposal. This creates a significantly increased risk that bikes are purchased, but not used, at significant expense to the consumer and loss of benefit to society.

For e-bikes there is a need for a comprehensive service for the consumer that includes a mechanism for replacement of batteries at the end of battery life to keep the bikes in use. With the wide variety of batteries and specifications in the market this supply and replacement has to be maintained by manufacturers. Such service should provide for battery recycling in line with the EU promotion of the circular economy.

Regardless of the point of manufacture, a market where some parties are able to artificially reduce cost of e-bikes creates the so called “race to the bottom” in terms of price and product quality. This will not encourage cycle use because the average price level of e-bikes in many EU countries will not be of a quality or level of equipment for daily cycling and not allow the e-bike to take on its most important role for users as a substitute for private car use. It does not support the use of e-bikes because the industrial and retail sectors cannot build the service infrastructure needed for e-bikes to be maintained and used on a long term basis. The skills and resources needed to support e-bikes are higher than bicycles so investment in the service sector as well as the supply chain is essential.

You can find the complete submission here.

This point was also reiterated in the Official Publication for the provisional measures on pedal assist e-bikes imported from China which can be found here .

EU Official Journal 5th June 2013: European Union’s Citizens’ Interests – Section H:

Please find below an excerpt from the latest anti-dumping investigation on bicycles showing that also the European consumer organization ECF is in favor of these measures, as a monopoly from China would harm both the quality, the variety of models and the service of bikes.

Read the full text here.

ECF’s Letter supporting the EU Bicycle Industry in favor of millions of EU Cyclists

In 2010 ECF published a statement where they voice their comments on the European market situation and the production of bicycles and bike parts in non-EU countries such as China.

There ECF states that Europe is the most important market for modern cycling products with high standards in quality and safety. Europe is the market where most of the consumers’ needs come from. The role of the European Bicycle Industry is an asset both for the Industry and consumers. The European Bicycle Industry is diffused across the whole of Europe, enabling for many decades a very efficient just-in-time production and distribution which minimises costs both in terms of CO2 transport emissions and warehousing in Europe.

The ECF as a representatives of European bicycle consumers supports the need to help the bicycle industry in Europe to survive, and not disappear after an extremely creative, positive and energetic existence of 140 years.

All in all, ECF fully supports the continuation of anti-dumping measures on bicycles in this statement.

The full statement can be found here.

This argument was also reiterated in the Publication of the Official Journal of the European Commission which can be found here.