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EU extends tariffs on Japanese TV cameras to protect Thomson

The European Union prolonged for five more years tariffs on Japanese television cameras to shield France's Thomson SA from cheaper imports.

The EU duties punish Japanese TV-camera makers including Ikegami Tsushinki Co. and Sony Corp. for selling in Europe below domestic prices or below the production cost, a practice known as dumping. Ikegami Tsushinki faces a 200.3% duty – the highest rate - and Sony a 108.3% levy. „There is no evidence that Japanese exporting producers would change their pricing behavior to increase prices should measures be allowed to lapse,” the EU said in a decision taken in Brussels and published today in the Official Journal.

The 25-nation EU introduced anti-dumping duties on Japanese TV cameras in 1994 and prolonged the levies for five years in September 2000 at higher rates still in force. Thomson, which accounts for more than 60% of EU output of the product, asked in June 2005 for another extension. Three months later, the EU opened an inquiry that prevented the measures from lapsing last year. The latest prolongation is the outcome of that probe. Thomson cited the threat of renewed dumping, saying Japanese exporters are selling at unfairly low prices in China and India. The company also said the end of the measures would probably lead some Japanese companies that make TV cameras in the EU to replace those with imports. (Bloomberg)