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Global Retread Symposium Reports U.S. Retreaders Are Not Alone in Dealing with Tier 4 Imports

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Global Retread Symposium Reports U.S. Retreaders Are Not Alone in Dealing with Tier 4 Imports

Retread industry leaders and professionals from around the world gathered at the 2015 Global Tire Expo’s first Global Retread Symposium to discuss retread issues that cross international boundaries and impact the industry as a whole.

A central issue for retreaders in the U.S., Europe and some Latin American countries is the import of Tier 4 Asian-made truck tires.

The symposium was put on by the Tire Industry Association (TIA) and the Tire Retread & Repair Information Bureau (TRIB) on Nov. 4 in Las Vegas during Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week. The symposium opened with overviews of the North American, European and Latin American markets, respectively, presented by:

  • David Stevens, managing director, TRIB;
  • Ruud Spuijbroek, secretary, Bipaver, the European retread industry’s trade association representing national retreading associations and leading suppliers to the retreading industry from 10 member states; and
  • Aldo Bastos, director of international business for Borrachas Vipal S/A of Brazil, which manufactures tire retread and tire inner tube repair materials.

Each discussed a variety of conditions and concerns specific to their markets. Spuijbroek covered several issues faced by European retreaders, including the requirement for tire labels that convey safety and environmental information about the tire.

Bipaver was able to obtain a short-term exemption from the labeling requirement for retreaded tires. The association is developing a Web-based tool that predicts the rolling resistance, wet grip, and rolling noise emission values, enabling retreaders to comply with the labeling regulations.

Bastos discussed the efforts of Alarneu, a trade association established two years ago, to boost the retread business in Latin America. For example, Chile is planning to regulate the final disposal of a tire casing. The extended producer responsibility program aims to reduce waste disposal, conserve resources, increase recycling and encourage more environmentally friendly product design. Producers and importers will have to show a system for managing the disposal of tires.

Bastos discussed programs in other Latin American countries to increase retreading. He also covered Alarneu’s efforts to develop measures to certify the quality of the tires produced by retread shops and to promote the environmental benefits of retreading.

Stevens, Spuijbroek and Bastos devoted a portion of their presentations to Tier 4 imports from China. Spuijbroek told attendees the impact of Tier 4 imports became significant after the Russian-led Eurasion Economic Union imposed antidumping measures for its member countries. The result was a“tsunami of containers” flowing into European markets.

“Having these anti-dumping measures all over the world creates a change of flow into Europe. It’s a very serious one,” he said.

“The second thing about anti-dumping is that when you have a look at the legal aspects of anti-dumping, it means that you are comparing new tires to new tires. Legislators are not used to creating legislation for anti-dumping in comparing new Chinese tires to retreaded tires. And today the price of a Chinese tire equals a retreaded tire. And if you had as an operator the choice between a new tire at $140 or a retread at $140, the operator makes his choice and chooses non-European brands, cheap brands.”

The Tier 4 import situation varies among Latin American countries. Duties protect local retread producers in countries such as Argentina and Brazil. With the anti-dumping tax, the price of low-quality tires is about the same as premium quality tires produced in Brazil, according to Bastos. But in Chile, which is a partner in the Transpacific Partnership Agreement and does not tax imports, more and more Tier 4 Chinese truck tires are “taking the place of the local producers.”   ■

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