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China to announce EU brandy tariffs as early as August

China is thought to announce preliminary tariffs on brandy imported from the EU in August following the European Commission’s decision last week to slap duties on Chinese electric cars from July.

China to announce EU brandy tariffs as early as August

The European Commission told automakers on Wednesday (12 June) it would impose extra duties of up to 38.1% on imported Chinese electric cars from July.

The announcement caused much dismay among brandy makers in Europe, predominantly based in France. In January China launched an anti-dumping investigation into EU brandy, which many believe to be a retaliatory move following the EU’s decision to investigate Chinese electric vehicles.

Now, Yuyuan Tantian, a Chinese media account with ties to state-owned CCTV, said that provisionary tariffs on brandy will be announced before the end of August. According to Vino Joy, this is the first time state media has provided a timeline for the decision.

It went on to say that China will monitor the situation closely and take “all necessary measures” to safeguard its interests.

The situation up to now

Since China’s investigation into EU brandy began on 5 January 2024, Cognac exporters the Bureau National Interprofessional du Cognac (BNIC) and the Fédération des Exportateurs de Vins & Spiritueux de France (FEVS) have expressed their deep concern at the situation.

The response phase to the questionnaires sent by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce to the concerned operators ended on May 20, with 60 companies from Cognac submitting their files.

Chinese investigators may soon visit Cognac, the BNIC said. Its representatives and the concerned operators have also requested to be heard in Beijing to prove that the allegations made by the complaint’s authors, which prompted the Chinese administration’s actions, are unfounded.

Cognac generated €335 billion in exports in 2023, and China is its second largest market, meaning tariffs could have a catastrophic impact on sales for Cognac businesses.

Read more about the potential impact of punitive tariffs here.

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