Chinese ceramic tableware and kitchenware manufacturers are taking legal steps to defend themselves in the huge anti-dumping inquiry set up last month by the European Commission.
Many manufacturers in Guangdong – where the suppliers under investigation are mostly based – are employing lawyers from Beijing to help them make their case, according to China Daily.
The inquiry, which is the largest ever made into China’s ceramic housewares exporters, will determine whether products are being sold abroad at prices below those charged in China or in suspiciously-large quantities.
If the commission concludes that dumping has taken place and that it has adversely affected EU producers, the Chinese manufacturers could be hit with steep new duties. They fear that some even face bankruptcy.
The investigation is likely to affect over 2,000 Chinese ceramic housewares manufacturers.
“Chinese ceramics makers should respond to the anti-dumping investigation with action,” Lan Weibing of the China Ceramic Industry Association told China Daily. “Otherwise, they will lose a big share of the European market.”
However, the threat posed by the anti-dumping investigation is prompting some manufacturers now to turn away from export. One of them, Choosing Porcelain Co, sold its entire production overseas last year, but told China Daily: “We will attach more importance to developing growth points in the domestic market.”
It added that if anti-dumping duties are levied following the inquiry, the Chinese manufacturers will pass the additional costs onto European customers.
China is the world’s biggest manufacturer of household ceramics, and its exports account for almost half of the entire European market for ceramic tableware and kitchenware.