On 26 May 2020, the European Commission imposed anti-dumping duties on imports of thermal paper originating in Korea, with immediate effect. This means that companies will have to pay an anti-dumping duty on thermal paper of 22.3% of the value of imports from Korea from now on.
However, companies can also benefit from reduced duty rates on presentation of the correct documents.
Our attorneys for anti-dumping law will help you to avoid anti-dumping duties in advance if they are to be paid retroactively or if criminal proceedings are threatened due to circumvention. Customs law is sometimes quite complex here.
Would you like to import thermal paper?
Contact our customs attorneys for advice on importing thermal paper from Korea: +49 3696150.
Thermal paper from Korea affected
The product concerned is heavy thermal paper from Korea, weighing more than 65 g/m2.
The thermal paper is sold in rolls of a width of 20 cm or more and a roll weight (including paper) of 50 kg or more. The rolls have a diameter of 40 cm or more and are also known as jumbo rolls in the industry.
The product is a speciality paper with a thermo-active coating (i.e. a mixture of pigments and a developer which reacts when heat is applied and produces an image), which is present on one or both sides and may have an undercoat on one or both sides or a surface layer.
The products covered by the duties are therefore the following:
- duplicating or transfer papers, including coated, covered or impregnated paper for templates or offset plates, whether or not printed, in rolls of a width > 36 cm or in square or rectangular sheets with one side > 36 cm and the other side > 15 cm when unfolded
- Paper and paperboard, surface-coloured, surface-decorated or printed, coated, covered or impregnated with synthetic resin or plastic, in rolls or square or rectangular sheets, of any size
- Paper, paperboard, cellulose wadding and
, coated, impregnated, surface-coloured, surface-decorated or printed, in rolls or square or rectangular sheets, of any size
The following goods are
- prepared carbonless copy paper
- papers and cardboards that are bleached and have a weight of 150 g/m² as well as papers and cardboards with an adhesive layer
- goods with tariff codes 4803, 4809, 4810, 4818 and 481110 to 481160
The thermal paper is mainly used for self-adhesive labels for packaging, tickets and tags in e-commerce.
Substances such as Bisphenol A and Bisphenol S can be used in the heat-sensitive coating for the production of thermal paper. Alternatively, the thermal paper can also be produced without phenol. All types of developers and heat generating materials are covered by the anti-dumping measures.
Ban on Bisphenol A in thermal paper
Companies should pay attention: The use of Bisphenol A in thermal paper has been banned in the European Union since 2 January 2020!
Why was an anti-dumping procedure initiated?
By autumn 2019, the European Commission had opened an anti-dumping investigation into imports of heavy thermal paper originating in Korea
The background to the measure was a complaint lodged by the European Thermal Paper Association on behalf of EU manufacturers, representing more than 25% of the total EU production of heavy thermal paper.
The Commission has now imposed provisional anti-dumping duties on thermal paper from Korea following the continuation of dumping in the Korean Economic Area which has caused significant damage to European industry.
According to this report, the sales volume and also the market share of the Union producers have decreased by 10 percent since 2017. The Commission found that the sole Korean exporter had almost doubled its exports and significantly increased its market share by almost 5%. As a result, the situation of EU industry had significantly deteriorated. This has led to difficulties raising capital as well as bottlenecks in investment into new and innovative production processes.
Pay anti-dumping duties – avoid penalties!
Anti-dumping duties are barriers to trade. This means that anyone who evades anti-dumping duties is liable to prosecution for tax fraud and may face heavy fines or even imprisonment for up to 5 years.
Note: Not only the debtor and the importer are considered liable. The buyer as well, who along with the importer, undertakes customs evasion with fuller knowledge, must expect penal consequences!
Companies that receive a legitimate request for retroactive payment of anti-dumping duties must therefore under all circumstances comply with this obligation.
The management above all is at high risk of liability in the event of illegal evasion or fraud.
Risk of heavy fines and investigations
Allegations of evading anti-dumping duties could result in back payments of millions of euros and criminal investigations by the customs investigation office.
What’s more, the accusation of customs offences can arise quickly. Even declaring incorrect tariff numbers often constitutes a customs offence.
Companies should therefore seek legal advice in advance to help them determine the correct customs tariff numbers.