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30. 4.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 134/27

Answer given by Sir Leon Brittan on behalf of the Commission


(28 October 1997)

Pursuant to Article 1 of Regulation (EC) No 703/96 (1), the investigation into alleged circumvention which
resulted in the adoption of Regulations (EC) Nos 71/97 (2) and 88/97 (3) concerned bicycle parts falling within
codes CN 8717 91 10 to 8714 99 90 and was not confined to assemblies. This procedure was open not only to
assemblers but also (and indeed chiefly) to the importers concerned, only one of whom took an active part in the
investigation within the time limit set by Regulation (EC) No 703/96. When it was established that the
anti-dumping duty on imports of bicycles originating in the People's Republic of China was being circumvented
by imports of bicycle parts, the Community brought in Regulation (EC) No 71/97 to extend it to the main parts of
bicycles with the same origin. Regulation (EC) No 88/97 put in place extensive exemptions for imports which did
not constitute circumvention. As circumvention, according to Article 13 of [Regulation (EC) No 384/96 (4)] can
only be established in the case of undertakings which assemble or manufacture bicycles, any exemption from the
extended anti-dumping duty can be granted to manufacturers only for imports intended for their own use. An
exemption can be granted to other operators only when the bicycle parts are used by assemblers who do not
circumvent the anti-dumping duty. Surveillance for this purpose is carried out under the (highly effective)
end-use customs procedure. By this means goods can be kept under surveillance until they are released for free
circulation and, even in this case, collection of the anti-dumping duty can be waived. Movement between
Member States takes place on the T5 control copy.

Because this is the first procedure under which an anti-dumping duty has been imposed under Article 13 of the
Basic Regulation on imports into the Community of parts of the same goods, with the exemption system
described, it is of particular benefit to analyse and evaluate the aim and effectiveness of this measure. The
importers and subcontractors concerned have already been able to inform the Commission of their comments and
it would also like to hear the views of other interested parties. The aim is to be able to evaluate statistics and take
into account the Member States' experience.

1. A decision on the need, if any, to amend Regulations (EC) No 71/97 and 88/97 can only be reached when
that analysis is concluded.

2. Since the analysis is not yet complete it is not possible at this stage to take a view on the situation of
importers of bicycle parts (market shares and their possible losses and their causes).

(1) OJ L 98, 19.4.1996.


(2) OJ L 16, 18.1.1997.
(3) OJ L 17, 21. 1.1997.
(4) OJ L 56, 6.3.1996.

(98/C 134/32) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2844/97


by Klaus-Heiner Lehne (PPE) to the Commission
(11 September 1997)

Subject: Bank charges in connection with introduction of the euro

‘Europe without Frontiers’, a newssheet published as a monthly letter by the Commission’s Directorate-General
for Information, Communications, Culture and Audiovisual Media (ISSN 1021-2345) states on page 2 of its June
1997 edition (time of going to press 20 May 1997) under the heading ‘Practical Questions for the Euro and
Answers in Spring 1998?’ that:

Exchanging national currency for the euro after 1 January 1999 should not cost users any more than the actual
technical expenses incurred by the banks.
1. What expenses are involved in this respect?
2. Does the Commission think it right that, in making the necessary exchange of legal tender, the costs of the
changeover should be passed on to the consumer?
C 134/28 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 30. 4. 98

3. Is it consistent with the law to charge the individual consumer for an exchange of legal tender which is
required by the government authorities?
4. Given that exchange of legal tender is essentially a government measure, should these costs not be borne by
the public budget?
5. What does the Commission intend to do to avoid any additional costs of the changeover intensifying the
misgivings in the minds of a large section of the population about the euro?
6. Is it not possible to require the banks under the transitional regulations to effect the changeover free of
charge to the consumer?
7. What is the Commission’s view, in the light of questions 1-6, of the decision of the Federal Supreme Court of
15 July 1997 in cases XI ZR 269/96 and 279/96 concerning the exemption from charges for the performance
of government-ordered tasks by banks? (The relevant articles from the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung are
attached).

Answer given by Mr de Silguy on behalf of the Commission


(31 October 1997)

The Commission has been examining the questions raised by the Honourable Member. These questions were
discussed at a round table organised on 15 May 1997 involving various associations concerned, and comments
have been received by the Commission from financial institutions and consumer organisations.

The Commission will, with the help of an expert group, continue to examine these questions in full detail in the
coming months. This work will be finalised by the end of 1997. The Commission will provide the Honourable
Member with a supplementary answer as soon as possible.

As stated in its communication on the practical aspects of the introduction of the euro, the Commission is
planning to decide before the end of 1997 whether a common approach to conversion charges is necessary
among the participating Member States, whether such a common approach should be enforced by legislation at
national or European level, whether its market forces can be left to operate or whether voluntary agreements or
codes of practice are needed.

(98/C 134/33) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2889/97


by Glyn Ford (PSE) to the Council
(16 September 1997)

Subject: Human rights abuses in the former Yugoslavia

Is the Council aware that Croatian authorities within areas of the former Yugoslavia such as Lika are turning a
blind eye to human rights abuses?

What plans does the Council have to put pressure on Croatia if these abuses continue?

Answer
(22 December 1997)

The Council is aware of the failure to respect human rights and the rights of minorities in Croatia and other
countries of the former Yugoslavia.

For this reason, the Council at its meeting on 29 April 1997 adopted conclusions on the application of
conditionality to relations with the countries in the area. The Euroepan Union intends to develop these relations
in a framework designed to promote democracy, the rule of law, higher standards of respect for human rights and
the rights of minorities, market economy reform and greater cooperation between these countries.