The various low-level legal skirmishes surrounding biodiesel continue. The latest took place in Italy in late March, where Italian customs authorities at the port of Venice seized 10,000 tons of biodiesel that was en route from Canada into Italy. Or was it?
The problem with the biofuel, according to the European Biodiesel Board (EBB), was that the label declaring the fuel to be of Canadian origin was false. Instead, the fuel came from the U.S., "where it benefited from the US illegal subsidies," writes Biofuels International. The EBB is working hard to prevent U.S. biodiesel from entering Europe at a lower price than the local stuff because it gets financial benefits from the U.S. government (to the tune of In a $1 per gallon of biodiesel subsidy). The fuel is sometimes routed through Canada and other countries to avoid paying some import duties in Europe. The EBB says that these triangular routes "may represent a global fraud of more than €100 million of unpaid import duties to EU customs." U.S.-based biodiesel companies also sometimes import pure biodiesel made somewhere else, blend it with a bit of petro-diesel and collect the tax credit before shipping the blend to Europe. This has been going on for years. More details here.
[Source: Biofuels International | Image: opensourceway - C.C. License 2.0]