EU tariffs on LCD monitors end, at last, late June

After a lengthy dispute the EU has agree to void tariffs placed on a number of products including LCD monitors by 30 June at the latest.

According to a statement by the Taiwanese Ministry of Economic Affairs, the EU has accepted that tax impositions of LCD monitors, set top boxes and multi-functional printers manufactured in Taiwan, Japan and the US contravened World Trade Organisation rules.

The EU had already announced back in September that it will not seek to challenge a ruling made by the WTO in July of last year following a joint suit filed by the three nations over what they perceived to be unfair tax rates on new technology in products.

When the EU announced this it was said that a reasonable period of time to exempt the taxes had been negotiated, a period that it was agreed would exceed no more than 15 months beginning from when the ruling was made.

It is now said that the voiding of tariffs, ranging from 6 to 14 percent, will come into effect before the start of July, writes the Taipei Times.

The finalising of the day marks the culmination of a dispute that has raged since the three nations launched a joined suit claiming that the EU had broken the Information Technology Agreement put in place by the WTO.

The Information Technology Agreement essentially means that tariff-exempt status must be given to products deemed ‘existing technology’ which incorporate new technologies.

The EU had disputed that the products in question could fall under this category. 

For instance, the EU argued that monitors larger than 19-inches which also have DVI and HDMI terminals should be classed as TV products, while printers which have scanning and faxing applications should be titled copiers.

Furthermore, set-top boxes that feature recording and playback with memory storage were claimed to be merely multimedia players.