WTO calls for end to EU duties on Chinese screws

Screws on a black background European duties on Chinese screws break trade laws, according to the WTO

The European Union (EU) has been told to stop levying import duties on Chinese screws, nuts and bolts.

The ruling by the World Trade Organization (WTO) marks the first time the trade body has ruled against the EU in favour of China.

The panel of WTO experts said the EU's import duties broke trade rules and said they must be revised.

According to the organisation's rules, both sides now have 60 days to appeal against the ruling.

The EU imposes duties on imports from countries such as China, Vietnam or Cuba, which it considers not to be market economies.

WTO rules allow for extra duties where imports are sold at less than they would cost in the country of origin, a process known as "dumping".

The Chinese claim stated that the EU had wrongly calculated the threshold, a complaint the WTO upheld.

"The... rulings make it clear that the EU's anti-dumping legislation and practice are discriminatory and inconsistent with WTO rules," China said in a statement.

However, the WTO did not uphold all the Chinese complaints.

China and the EU have been involved in an escalating trade dispute with China imposing its own tariffs on European products.

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