The continuous increase in South Korean imports at undercutting prices had a clear negative impact on the EU industry, resulting in market price depression and causing market share losses for EU producers, says the EC.
The European Commission (EC) has decided to institute provisional anti-dumping (AD) duties on imports of lightweight thermal paper (LWTP) from the Republic of South Korea. In its investigation initiated in February 2016 on a complaint lodged by the European Thermal Paper Association (ETPA), the EC found that the continuous increase in South Korean imports at undercutting prices had a clear negative impact on the EU industry, resulting in market price depression and causing market share losses for EU producers.
The duty on LWTP imports by Hansol Paper, Hansol Artone Paper and all other South Korean companies amounts to 12.1% of the CIF EU border net price and will into force as of 18 November 2016. The provisional duty will apply for a period of six months.
The provisional AD duties concern phenol-free and phenol-containing lightweight thermal paper ('LWTP') weighing 65 gr/m² or less; in rolls of a width of 20 cm or more, a weight of the roll (including the paper) of 50 kg or more and a diameter of the roll (including the paper) of 40 cm or more ('jumbo rolls'); with or without a base coat on one or both sides; coated with a thermo-sensitive substance (that is a mixture of dye and a developer that react and form an image when heat is applied) on one or both sides; and with or without a top coat, originating in the Republic of Korea," the EC announced. LWTP is used in point-of-sale applications, such as cash register receipts.
The AD investigation covered the period from 1 January to 31 December last year. The examination of trends relevant for the assessment of injury covered the period from 1 January 2012 to the end 2015.
During the investigation the EC has carried verification visits at the facilities of EU paper manufacturers Torraspapel, Mitsubishi Hitec Paper Europe and Papierfabrik August Koehler in Spain and Germany as well as the Polish converter Papiery Powlekane Pasaco. In addition, the EC reportedly paid verification visits to South Korean paper producers Hansol Paper and Hansol Paper Artone, the trading company Hansol Europe in the Netherlands and Hansol Group's converting subsidiary Schades in the UK.
According to the information published by the EU, consumption of LWTP on the EU market grew by 15% to reach a total of 194,000 t in 2015. South Korean LWTP imports soared from 2,000 t to 28,000 t while their market share increased from 0.7% in 2012 to 13.6% in 2015. In the same time, the average price of LWTP imports from South Korea into EU dropped by up to 15%.