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The European Wine Companies Committee (CEEV) celebrates the termination by China of the antidumping and anti-subsidies investigations on EU wines imports.

Brussels, 21st March 2014 – At the eve of the visit of the Chinese President to Brussels next Monday 31st March, CEEV has celebrated the official termination earlier this week of the anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations on imports of European wines.

Last Monday 24th March the Chinese Minister of Trade MOFCOM officially published the termination of this investigation without the imposition of any trade defence measures by China (http://www.mofcom.gov.cn/article/b/e/201403/20140300526470.shtml). This achievement has been possible thanks to a business-to-business understanding between EU and the Chinese wine industries, represented by CEEV and CADA respectively, focused on technical cooperation that was reached by both organisations on 18th of March after a series of meetings between the two associations.

The Commissioners had welcomed the amicable conclusion of this wine probe on EU wines (http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-14-301_en.htm?locale=en) as i.a. it will allow to further strengthen the EU-China bilateral relationship and it is a welcomed outcome to build on between the EU and China.

At the occasion of CEEV meetings yesterday with the EU Commissioners De Gucht and Ciolos, CEEV’s President Jean-Marie Barillère stated “Beyond the possibility for the EU wine exporters to pursue their operations in a growing strategic market such as China, the smooth implementation of the business-to-business cooperation between the EU and Chinese industries represents a major opportunity for developing the bilateral commercial relations, and will opens up long-term opportunities for the EU wine sector”.

CEEV has expressed its gratitude to the European Commission for its support. “Along the whole proceedings the European Commission together with the governments of the EU member States have consistently supported the EU wine sector views, and defended the view that the case made by the Chinese authorities was unfounded. They have permanently advised CEEV inter alia on technical issues and have been in constant contact with the Chinese authorities” stated the CEEV’s Secretary General, Jose Ramon Fernandez.

 

Note to editors - Background

  • The Comité Européen des Entreprises Vins (CEEV – www.ceev.eu represents the wine companies in the industry and trade in the European Union: still wines, sparkling wines, liqueur wines, aromatised wines and other vine products. It brings together 24 national organisations. With more than 7.000 companies, mainly SMEs, and more than 200.000 direct jobs in the EU, its members produce and market the vast majority of quality European wines, with and without a geographical indication, and account for over 90% of European wine exports. With around 8,8 billion € worth of exports every year, the wine sector makes a contribution of over 6 billion € to the EU trade balance.   
  • On July 1st 2013 the Chinese Ministry of Commerce MOFCOM decided to open anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations against EU wines. CEEV denounced then the retaliatory launch of these investigations as being clearly incompatible with international trade rules and totally unjustified.
  • Early August 2013 the European Commission and the Chinese government reached an agreement on solar panels. As a side-arrangement of the discussion on solar panels the EC Trade Commissioner De Gucht and the Chinese Minister of Trade committed to facilitate a business-to-business dialogue between the European and the Chinese wine industries with the aim of finding a solution to the wine investigations. The Chinese minister promised that in the meantime no provisional measure would be taken by China. The European Commission invited the EU wine industry, represented by CEEV, to conducts a constructive and swift dialogue with the Chinese counterparts.    
  • CEEV acknowledged the agreement between the European Commission and the Chinese government to facilitate a wine business-to-business dialogue. The EU wine industry decided to build on the opportunity provided by this bilateral dialogue to stop the threat of unjustified protectionist measures on European wines in China and to enhance the organization of the growing cooperation and exchanges with the Chinese industry.
  • In parallel to the investigation proceedings, in mid November 2013 CADA and CEEV held a first face-to-face meeting in Beijing that inaugurated a direct dialogue and provided the occasion for both associations to get to know each other’s missions and visions better and exchange views on challenges and opportunities for their respective sectors. Thereafter further discussions took place on 27th January, 17th February, and mid-March 2014.          
  • The Memorandum of Understanding reached between CEEV and CADA during this dialogue consists of a commitment by the Chinese industry to withdraw its AS/AD complaint against EU wines, and the settlement of technical assistance and cooperation activities between both parties for an initial period of 2 years. By virtue of this understanding, following the confirmation of the termination of the investigation by the Chinese authority:
    • The EU industry will facilitate technical assistance to professionals from Chinese wine companies in areas such as of winegrowing – experimental vineyards and mechanization techniques- winemaking and quality controls, marketing approaches, wine tastings, and GIs protection systems. This assistance will be provided through activities such as hosting study visits in Europe, seminars, and other training and internship activities.
    • The Chinese industry will assist the EU industry to organize EU wine tastings in China, and to improve the wine knowledge among the Chinese consumers, and promote the appreciation of wines and its culture building on the values of moderate and responsible consumption.
    • Both parties will set up permanent information mechanism and communication exchanges, monitor the implementation of the cooperation, and collaborate at international level on advocacy activities aimed at improving market access conditions in third countries.
  • In parallel to the B2B dialogue, the CEEV has actively coordinated the participation of the EU wine companies in the Chinese investigation, and consistently provided factual, economic and legal arguments proving that the complaint by the Chinese domestic industry, and the launch of the anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations by the Chinese authorities, were clearly unfounded.

Along the whole proceedings the European Commission and EU member States have consistently supported the EU wine industry views, and defended the view that the case made by the Chinese authorities was unfounded. They have permanently advised CEEV inter alia on technical issues and have been in constant contact with the Chinese authorities in order to ensure that the EU wine sector arguments were duly taken into account.

In the past 6 years (2007-2012) the Chinese wine market has experienced very significant growth. EU wine exports to China amounted to 764 million € in 2012 (71% / 546m€ from France; Spain (11.7%, 89m€); Italy (10.1%, 77m€) – out of overall wine exports of 8.865 billon € (8.6%).