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EFDA Calls for Intelligent Solution
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The European Fastener Distributors Association has a new office and organization but remains focused on its original intention and values. Here, EFDA explains why effective representation for Fastener Distributors is essential to free but fair trade.
In 2000 EFDA was born as an association of associations to represent common interests at a European and global level; providing the focal point for the exchange of non-competitive information and to act as the mechanism for networking between fastener distributors throughout Europe.  EFDA defined its core mission as the provision of a European platform that enabled national associations to meet with all parties linked to the industry.
Since January 1st 2013 EFDA has operated from a new business environment in Berlin but still focuses on its original intention and values – in particular “free but fair trade in an open marketplace”. EFDA strongly believes that competiveness on a global scale is a precondition for prosperity; this includes the requirement for rules and regulations to balance unfair behaviour. On 13th June 2012 the European Commission initiated an investigation concerning the possible circumvention of anti-dumping measures imposed on imports of certain stainless steel fasteners and parts thereof.
 EFDA arranged a hearing with the chief case-handler to act as a platform for European Distributors. In preparation eleven leading European Distributors signed and sent a position paper to the Commission. They expressed their commitment to fair trade and therefore against dumping and circumvention. Prior to and during the meeting they presented documents proving they had done their outmost to avoid circumvention. Having finished its investigation the Commission prepared a final report in January 2013 for consideration by representatives of EU Member States. By the middle of March the final decision should be published and EFDA is very optimistic that the Commission will have been convinced by its arguments.
 Last autumn, EFDA member associations decided unanimously to actively participate in a "target-group". The objective is to ensure timely involvement in all regulations EFDA considers as barriers for free trade. EFDA member associations represent the full spectrum of specialized fasteners distributors, with importers one sub-segment. That imports increase if an appropriate domestic offer is not available is obvious. To correct this trend by punitive tariffs is a unilateral distortion of market forces. Even in our industry there are segments where years of punitive tariffs have not contributed to the recovery of the industry concerned. EFDA’s responsibility is to organize a platform for the European Fastener Distribution Industry to ensure legislators are presented with correct information for the benefit of the distribution industry and its customers. Now, even more than before, the European export industry needs strong supply-chains to enhance its global competitiveness.
 During the Fastener Fair Stuttgart, where EFDA had a busy stand, fastener distributors expressed great dissatisfaction with the current situation. Abnormally high and incomprehensibly punitive tariffs have promoted circumvention, which has negatively impacted the markets. European Union authorities are unfortunately not in a position to enforce the decisions they have taken. It is time for an intelligent solution.
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