The European Commission (EC)’s decision on 6 December to begin an anti-subsidy process against Indonesia has been welcomed by Germany’s Union for the Promotion of Oil and Protein Plants (UFOP).

“UFOP demands the expedited introduction of preliminary counter measures,” the association said in a press release on 11 December.

It added that customs duties on biodiesel imports should not be circumvented via palm oil imports.

The EU had originally imposed anti-dumping duties on biodiesel imports from Indonesia and Argentina in 2013, but then lost a series of legal challenges at the European Court of Justice and the World Trade Organization, forcing it to remove the duties in March this year.

The European Biodiesel Board then lodged a complaint with the EU on 22 October alleging that Indonesian biodiesel producers benefitted from a number of subsidies such as financial contributions and/or income or price support from the Indonesian government.

“UFOP calls for urgent action in the form of the temporary appointment and application of customs duties on imports of palm oil biodiesel,” it said in its press release.

The European Biodiesel Board (EBB) had warned that import duties to be applied in 2019 would be avoided if there was an increase in palm oil imports for the production of biodiesel in the EU.

UFOP said the proportion of palm oil-based biofuels in Germany had increased in 2017 to more than 500,000 tonnes from 300,000 tonnes in 2015 and 430,000 tonnes in 2016.

The EC investigation will cover the period from 1 October 2017 to 30 September 2018 but would look at relevant trends from 1 January 2015. The investigation would be concluded no more than 13 months from its launch, the EC said.