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Strengthening European manufacturing for net-zero technologies: addressing tariff disparities

Question écrite de Mme Deirdre CLUNE - Commission européenne


Subject: Strengthening European manufacturing for net-zero technologies: addressing tariff disparities

One of the EU’s recent objectives is to enhance European manufacturing capacity for net-zero technologies, including the wind sector, and to scale up manufacturing within Europe. However, despite this objective, in some cases, the applicable import tariffs favour the manufacturing of components or products outside the European Union.

For instance, glass fibre fabrics, used as input materials in wind industry manufacturing, face significant tariff differentials. When a manufacturer imports fabrics from China (HS code 70191200), the product is subject to a tariff totalling 67.4 %. By contrast, if a Chinese manufacturer produces the final composite part in China and imports it into Europe (HS code 39269097), the comparable tariff is a mere 2.7 %. This 64.7 % difference in tariffs incentivises the manufacture of composite parts outside Europe, potentially leading to the relocation of manufacturing beyond the EU’s borders.

1. How does the Commission evaluate applicable tariffs on net-zero technology and its main components in light of the new objectives for a resilient and carbon-neutral EU?

2. How will the Commission incentivise the manufacturing of various net-zero technology components within the EU?

3. Can a more harmonised tariff development provide an appropriate solution?

Submitted:20.3.2024

Réponse - Commission européenne

Diffusée le 30 mai 2024

Answer given by Executive Vice-President Dombrovskis on behalf of the European Commission (31 May 2024)

For innovating and scaling up the manufacturing capacity of net-zero technologies in the EU, the Commission presented in March 2023 a proposal for a Net-Zero Industry Act (NZIA) (1).

As part of the Green Deal Industrial Plan (2), NZIA aims to address strategic dependencies and resilience in support of the green transition, including for the wind sector, via a series of measures.

This comprises creating a Net-Zero Europe Platform under which strategic projects will be discussed encompassing also their financing. The European Parliament and the Council concluded the negotiations on a compromise text for NZIA on 6 February 2024 (3).

For the products referred to, according to the Commission’s information, the tariffs applied to Combined Nomenclature (CN) codes 39269097 and 70191200 are very close, set at 6.5% and 7% respectively.

With respect to glass fibre reinforcements, trade defence measures apply to EU imports from China to restore a level playing field on the EU market.

The Commission always performs an EU interest test before trade defence measures are imposed. Should the EU industry suffer injury from unfairly traded imports of products falling under CN 39269097, such industry is invited to contact the Trade defence services of Directorate General for Trade of the Commission (4).

1 ∙ ⸱ https://single-market-economy.ec.europa.eu/publications/net-zero-industry-act_en

2 ∙ ⸱ https://commission.europa.eu/strategy-and-policy/priorities-2019-2024/european-green-deal/green-deal-industrial-plan_en

3 ∙ ⸱ https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2024/02/06/net-zero-industry-act-council-and-parliament-strike-a-deal-to-boost-eu-s-green-

industry/#:~:text=The%20net%2Dzero%20industry%20act%20is%20one%20of%20the%20three,rapid%20transition%20to%20climate%20neutrality 4 ∙ ⸱ https://policy.trade.ec.europa.eu/contacts/trade-defence-enquiries_en







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