European manufacturers of aerial work platforms, or mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) have complained to the European Commission about “unusual commercial practices” by importers of Chinese-made machines.
After reviewing the submitted evidence, and considering the impact on the EU industry, the commission has told complainants that it will now carry out an in-depth investigation, as authorised by the rules of the World Trade Organization, to re-establish a level playing field for all actors on the EU market.
A notice in the Official Journal of the European Union on 13th November 2023 stated that European Commission had received a complaint on 29th September 2023 from an organisation calling itself the ‘Coalition to restore a level playing field in the EU Mobile Access Equipment Sector’.
French manufacturers Manitou and Haulotte, presumably prime movers within the aforementioned coalition, were among those welcoming the move and issued apparently coordinated statements.
Michel Denis, president and chief executive of Manitou Group, said: “We welcome the launch of this investigation. Fair competition on the European market is a prerequisite to ensure that businesses remain sustainable. We are therefore calling for swift and decisive action by the European Commission so that our activities and that of hundreds of our industrial suppliers in the EU can continue to innovate, to provide quality jobs to their workforce and continued safety to workers across the EU.”
Haulotte Group chief executive Alexandre Saubot said: “We welcome the initiation of this investigation as a fair-trade competition on the European market is the prerequisite to secure the stainability of our business models. We are therefore calling for swift and effective actions to ensure that our activities and that of hundreds of our industrial partners in the EU keep their ability to protect jobs, keep on innovating and continue serving our customers at its best across the EU.”
Tim Whiteman, business development director of Chinese manufacturer Sinoboom, said: “Sinoboom is cooperating fully with the investigation and looks forward to confirming that it has followed the highest standards of professionalism while introducing its high quality products to European customers.”