Having reviewed each measure that was carried across into UK law when the UK left the EU, in order to assess suitability for UK needs, the TRA has proposed that existing measures on imports of FAME biodiesel are kept, but that measures on imports of HVO biodiesel are removed.
The provisional recommendations, if upheld, could alleviate the two main concerns raised over HVO – future availability and cost – since the removal of the trade measures would mean that HVO could be imported from the US / Canada for use in UK agriculture and transport as well as in oil-fired heating. This would establish the security of supply needed to encourage uptake of this low carbon alternative to kerosene.
The TRA’s provisional findings, contained in the Statements of Essential Facts, would mean that the UK’s FAME production industry continued to be protected from dumped and subsidised biodiesel from the USA, including where consigned through Canada, but that HVO from these countries could be imported. A 30-day period for comments is now open.
Following transition reviews, the TRA has proposed that anti-dumping and countervailing measures on fatty-acid mono-alkyl esters (FAME) biodiesel be maintained at their current levels for five years from 30 January 2021. It has also proposed that the same measures on renewable diesel produced from paraffinic gasoil obtained from synthesis or hydro-treatment, of non-fossil origin (HVO) be revoked.
The UK has an established FAME production industry, but no UK HVO production industry exists.
The TRA’s investigations found that government-subsidised producers in the US would be likely to dump FAME biodiesel in the UK in the future and cause harm to UK industry if the measures no longer applied. Although the TRA found that dumping of subsidised HVO would also be likely to occur if the duty were no longer applied, there would be no damage to domestic manufacturers/businesses as there is no HVO industry in the UK and the higher prices for HVO would mean that it did not displace UK produced FAME.
HVO in demand for heating
The TRA also established that there is demand for HVO in the UK for use in heating buildings as it offers a cost-effective and more environmentally friendly alternative to existing heating fuels.
TRA chief executive Oliver Griffiths said: “The TRA’s findings on biofuels shows how we can tailor existing measures to better suit the UK economy. Our proposals would ensure that British biodiesel producers continue to be protected from unfair international competition from subsidised US products, while helping to drive down prices for users of a type of biodiesel that is not made in the UK.”
Following today’s publications, there will be a 30-day period in which interested parties can comment on the reports. Comments can be submitted to the TRA via the Trade Remedies Service website.
The TRA will then consider and produce Final Recommendations, which will be sent to the Secretary of State for International Trade who will make the final decision on whether to uphold the TRA’s provisional recommendations.