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EU imposes anti-dumping duties on Indian OFCs, HFCL sole exception

After a six-month-long investigation, the European Commission made a milestone ruling on Indian optical fiber cable manufacturers exporting to Europe. The complaint alleged that imports of optical fiber cables originating in India were being dumped in the European market, causing harm to European manufacturers.

HFCL and its subsidiary HTL Limited were, however, exempted.

Anti-dumping laws are usually used to shield domestic industries from unfairly priced imports. In the past, Europe had imposed anti-dumping duties on OFC imports from China in November 2021. Subsequently, the European Commission tightened these measures further in August 2023 by doubling its anti-dumping duties on optical fiber cables from China, following an investigation that found that Chinese exporters were attempting to hinder the effects of the original measures.

A similar investigation was carried out on Indian companies, and anti-dumping duty has now been imposed on all Indian Optical Fiber Cable manufacturers. According to an order issued on June 14, a duty of 8.7% has been levied on exports from Birla Cable Ltd, Universal Cables Ltd, and Vindhya Telelinks Ltd to the European Union. As per the order, Sterlite Technologies and Sterlite Tech Cables Solutions Ltd will incur 11.4% duties on their exports, while a 9.9% duty has been levied on Aberdare Technologies Private Ltd, Aksh Optifibre Ltd, Apar Industries Ltd, Polycab India Ltd, UM Cables Ltd, and ZTT India Private Ltd. All other exporters will incur a duty of 11.4%.

HFCL and its subsidiary HTL Limited were, however, exempted. The Commission’s decision came after a six-month-long investigation, during which the exempted company’s full cooperation and transparency were believed to have played a crucial role. The European Commission concluded that no evidence of dumping was found in HFCL’s case, resulting in its exemption from the duties.

Chronology of events:

  • October 3, 2023: Europacable files a complaint, initiating an anti-dumping proceeding concerning imports of optical fiber cables from India.
  • November 16, 2023: Notices are sent to Indian OFC manufacturers. The European Commission requests initial sales data from export producers, selecting several companies based on their export volumes.
  • April 11-22, 2024: European Commission members conduct physical verification at the companies’ facilities, meticulously examining whether if undercutting prices in Europe compared to domestic sales prices.
  • June 14, 2024: The European Commission issues a provisional ruling.

Scope of Anti-Dumping Duties:
The anti-dumping duties apply to single-mode optical fiber cables originating in India, excluding cables below 500 meters with operational connectors and submarine-use cables with plastic insulation and metal modules containing fibers.

This decisive ruling reaffirms the exempted company’s position in the European market and sets a precedent for fair business practices in the international trade of optical fiber cables.

CT Bureau

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