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Bring me sunshine

Scotsman.com News - International - Greens see red after EU keeps duty on light bulbs

THE European Commission is under fire from green campaigners and retailers for plans to extend duties on energy-efficient light bulbs from China.

The Chinese light bulbs have been subject to import duties since 2001, because the commission says the products are sold in EU markets for less than their true value.

Yesterday, EU commissioners met in Brussels and agreed to keep tariffs of 66 per cent in place, despite calls from green campaigners to bring down the price of energy-efficient light bulbs to encourage consumers to make greener choices.

Johannes Laitenberger, a spokesman for the commission, said it was in the "overall community interest" to keep the tariffs in place to help European manufacturers to adjust to "a changing market reality".

Could you explain it to me again how it is in my overall interest that I should pay more for my light bulbs so some slow witted Belgium lighbulb hewer can eventually notice there is a growing market for energy efficient light bulb?. No doubt the oligarch of the rare metal component of such bulbs will be along in a moment to explain how the subsidy keeps him in the lap of luxury having his grapes peeled for him under the Lusitanic sun.

Comments

Ah'm agin' such tariffs of course: also, it's all a different technology from the one I supply to. So in one sense, given that the higher prices get people to use metal halide lamps rather than CFLs, it does benefit me.
However, not very much.
Because the bit that we supply goes ito the mercury vapour that makes both types of bulbs work. And about 80% of global supply of that comes from one company in Illinois: Osram, GE and Phillips all get 100% of their supply from that one company, whether their bulbs are made in China, the US or Europe.
All of which really shows quite how silly this insistence on rules of origin is. The argument is over China and the EU, while absolutely everyone is using US technology to make them.

The revenue from that scam goes directly into European coffers. Nice 'work' if you can get it... buy 3 -- get 1!

Let's just do a back-of-the-envelope calculation here:

A 'energy' bulb costs £3 in the shop, so, say £1.50 wholesale. That's a quid for Brussels for every bulb, you probably need about 10 of them per year per household[1]... say we have 30 millions households in the UK(a rough guess), that's a cool 300 millions rake for the EU per year, just for the UK alone.

[1] They don't last as long as advertised and dim long before they actually physically break, but they still consume the same energy.

"The Chinese light bulbs have been subject to import duties since 2001, because the commission says the products are sold in EU markets for less than their true value."

What???

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