BMW seeks lower import tariffs for China-made electric Mini, source says

BERLIN, (Reuters) – BMW has asked Brussels to calculate lower tariffs for imports of its China-made electric Mini to Europe, which are currently subject to the highest duties under provisional EU regulation, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The move is aimed at getting the model included in the group of companies that cooperated with the investigation. That would bring duty levels to 20.8%, down from 37.6% under the current plans.

Last week, the European Commission announced provisional duties on European imports of electric vehicles produced in China, giving EV producers until July 18 to comment.

Models of BMW’s Chinese-made electric Mini have only been produced for a few months and were not part of Brussels’ sample analysis in the run-up to the tariff announcement, which means they were automatically subjected to the highest tariff level.

BMW expects its electric Mini to be ultimately hit with a lower tariff, the person said, adding an official process for new market entrants to seek lower duties would only be made possible in the fall, once final duties have been set.

Under the EU process, any company that was not represented in the sample groups and wishes to have its own individual duty can ask for an “accelerated review” just after the imposition of definitive measures.

BMW declined to comment.

Reporting by Christina Amann; Writing by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Sabine Wollrab and Miranda Murray