EC trying to get Italy to drop PE film tariff
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM — The European Community is resorting to court action to force Italy to drop an import duty against plastic film. The duty is designed to help fund Italian recycling.
The European Commission plans to take the Italian government to the European Court of Justice, claiming that the 10 percent tariff, imposed on polyethylene film imported from other EC member states, contravenes the common market rules.
Italy applies a 10 percent tax on PE resin, whether produced in Italy or not. But the tax on film applies only to film imported from other EC countries, according to the commission.
The commission's decision to bring court proceeding follows several written warnings. The case will be heard in Luxembourg, but no date has been set for an initial hearing, according to the competition commissioner's office in Brussels. A judgment can take as long as two years in such cases, according to the commissioner's office.
Koch plans to sue Millennium project
LONDON—Koch Hightex GmbH, the Rimsting, Germany, firm that lost its £6.1 million ($9.76 million) contract to supply Britain's Millennium Exhibition dome roof, is preparing to sue the firm behind the turn-of-the-century extravaganza for about $4 million.
According to a London-based spokesman for Koch Hightex, the U.K. state-owned organizer New Millennium Experience Co. Ltd. had offered no more than £400,000 ($640,000) for the canceled contract.
New Millennium in April had awarded Koch a contract to supply a PVC-coated polyester dome roof. But a new government in Britain changed plans, opting for a longer-lasting polytetrafluoroethylene-coated fiberglass structure, and switched the contract to Japanese-owned U.S. firm Birdair Inc. of Amherst, N.Y., at the increased cost of $22 million.
Lawyers for Koch also reportedly are seeking a court injunction to stop the dome's construction, pending an inquiry into allegations that the British government breached European Union tendering competition rules by scrapping the contract.
Brazilian companies start PVC institute
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL — Some 38 companies including raw materials suppliers, compounders, processors and machinery producers on Sept. 19 founded the Instituto do PVC of Brazil.
The group, based in SÃo Paulo, intends to work as a dissemination center of technical, environmental and commercial information for the entire vinyl production chain in Brazil. Domestic consumption of PVC totaled 1.1 million pounds in 1996.
The organization also plans to share information with other PVC groups worldwide, said Assis Esmeraldo, executive director.
``We've already contacted the Vinyl Institute, the European Council of Vinyl Manufacturers and the Vinyl Council of Canada,'' Esmeraldo said.