* EU producers withdraw complaints against India, Malaysia
* Producers reviewing case and could file new complaints
By Juliane von Reppert-Bismarck
BRUSSELS, July 13 (Reuters) - European fastener producers have dropped complaints that rivals in India and Malaysia are receiving illegal state aid and dumping screws and bolts in the European Union, but said they could file new allegations.
The European Fasteners Institute said it had withdrawn its complaints after European regulators signalled they might dismiss them.
The Institute, which represents European producers including Italy’s Agrati and Celo CELO.BC of Spain, said it was reviewing its accusations and were working on filing more extensive complaints in the coming months.
“The investigations (by EU officials) have shown that there may be a need to enlarge the product scope of trade actions and verification of this will take some more time. That’s why EIFI decided to temporarily suspend (the complaints),” Gianni Pezzoli, a member of the group’s executive committee, told Reuters.
The EU shields European fastener producers with punitive duties on imports from China, Vietnam, Thailand, Taiwan and Indonesia, highlighting the plight of European industry.
Chinese exporters have been angered by what they see as discriminatory duties and last year Beijing filed its first legal suit against the EU at the World Trade Organisation.
European producers say this will not deter them from refiling their complaints, especially because imports from India and Malaysia have been soaring since the EU imposed duties on products from other countries.
The EU imported Indian screws and bolts worth 52 million euros ($65.50 million) in 2009, up from 2.5 million euros in 2005. Imports from Malaysia rose to 15 million euros from 2 million euros during the same period, according to EU statistics office Eurostat.
“There were other previous cases that were temporarily suspended but anyway had, after the necessary clarifications from the Parties involved, a positive conclusion,” Pezzoli said.
The EU began investigating allegations of illegal subsidies and price-dumping in both countries in August 2009.
Reporting by Juliane von Reppert-Bismarck; Editing by Timothy Heritage