All this and more in an anti-dumping circumnavigation statement from Brian Montgomery of the Paris-based European Bicycle Manufacturers' Association. The statement comes after a Spanish bicycle importer was charged for duty evasion after a two-year investigation by Spanish and EU customs officials.

Cheating. Cunning. Fraud. Danger. Punishment.

The Spanish importer has been charged with failing to declare up to 1.5m Euros of ‘anti-dumping’ duty payments. If found guilty, the importer risks fines and the company directors could face jail terms.

In his statement, included in full below, Montgomery says he can reveal the "discovery of massive fraud concerning bicycle imports to the EU":

And so we come close to the end of this cheating affair which started over two years ago with a complaint from the European Bicycle Manufacturers Association to O.L.A.F. ( Office Europeen de Lutte Anti-Fraude – European anti-fraud office ) that bicycle imports from the Philippines were actually made in China.

The importer in Spain became the subject of an intense investigation by O.L.A.F. together with the Spanish A.E.A.T (Agencia Estatal de la Administracion Tributari ) . The fraud was principally with the falsification of certificates of origin for the bicycles The detailed routing of the many containers from the producer in China through Hong Kong to the Philippines and then to Spain was followed. The reason for the complicated cheating was to evade the payment of the 30.6% anti-dumping duty on bicycle imports from China into the EU. by claiming the origin ‘Made in the Philippines ‘. The investigation involved representatives from both the A.E.A.T. and O.L.A.F. going to Hong Kong and the Philippines to gather in situ proofs of the chain of paper-work. We are now close to the last act in the drama. The inspectors of the A.E.A.T. now with full evidence have opened a case against the importer for massive fraud over a long period of a sum greater than one million and a half Euros. This affair is now before the Spanish Courts of Justice with both civil and criminal charges. We have the permission of the A.E.A.T. to release this information. The case, which is one of several being investigated across the Community, makes very clear the dangerous situation of the cheating importers – they are the ones who pay in the end.

The Chinese manufacturers continue with their offers of cunning methods to evade the anti-dumping duty on imports to the EU – with containers shipped to third countries, etc. and the provision of false origin certificates. In the end however it is not them who pays for the fraud. It is the importer who has to face up to the punishment.

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