(Luxembourg, 8 November 2023) – The European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) in Brussels (Belgium) filed two separate indictments at the Court of Antwerp yesterday, for the evasion of customs duties on the importation of electric bicycles (e-bikes) from China.
In both instances, the companies that imported the e-bikes, as well as the companies that fulfilled the customs formalities, are accused of presenting incorrect customs declarations in order to evade anti-dumping and countervailing duties. The e-bikes were imported via Belgium in separate parts, allegedly to avoid the payment of anti-dumping duties due on the importation of fully assembled e-bikes.
In the first instance, it is estimated that the activities of the defendants caused damage to the EU’s financial interests of at least €3.5 million in evaded customs duties. In the second instance, the estimated damage is at least €3.1 million.
If found guilty, the defendants face between 4 months and 5 years in prison, along with a fine of 5 to 10 times the evaded customs duties.
The facts that led to both indictments were brought to the attention of the EPPO by Belgium’s General Administration of Customs and Excise (Administration générale des Douanes et Accises) and by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF).
The EPPO is the independent public prosecution office of the European Union. It is responsible for investigating, prosecuting and bringing to judgment crimes against the financial interests of the EU.