Chinese Cars: EU Duties Come into Effect

Germany opposes and has 4 months to make a final decision

On July 5, 2024, the duties that the European Commission has decided to impose on Chinese-made electric cars will come into effect.

These are “preliminary duties of a compensatory nature on imports” ranging from 17.4% to 37.6%. Specifically, BYD will be subject to duties of 17.4%, Geely of 19.9%, and SAIC of 37.6%, while other manufacturers that participated in the Brussels investigation, which began in June 2023, will be subject to a 20.8% duty, and companies that refused to cooperate will be subject to 37.6%. The duties, as already mentioned, are temporary and are to be confirmed by a decision of the Member States of the European Union in October and, if confirmed, will be valid for 5 years.

The result is far from obvious: Germany is opposed and is asking for mediation, in particular because China is a major market for the German automobile industry, and France, Spain, and Italy are more agreeable to the duties. The duties could be blocked if at least 15 of the 27 EU member states, representing at least 65% of the Union’s population, vote against them.

China, through Commerce Ministry spokesman He Yadong, said it “will work in the same direction and show sincerity in holding consultations on the anti-subsidy investigation.” Consultation should be based on facts and rules and should lead to a mutually acceptable solution as soon as possible.