The European Union is set to enforce high import duties on Chinese electric vehicles starting this Friday, as announced by the European Commission on Thursday. The new tariffs aim to address the issue of unfair competition from China, which heavily subsidizes its domestic manufacturers.

The punitive tariffs will see a 17.4 percent duty imposed on cars from BYD, a major sponsor of the European Football Championship. Geely vehicles will face a 19.9 percent surcharge, while SAIC cars will incur a substantial 37.6 percent levy. For other Chinese manufacturers, the EU will impose a 20.8 percent duty, which could escalate to 37.6 percent in cases of non-compliance. These rates are slightly lower than initially proposed.

However, these measures are provisional and will be lifted if Brussels and Beijing reach an agreement within the next four months. Should the European Commission determine that China has not made sufficient improvements, these tariffs will be enforced for a five-year period.

The commission, which oversees EU trade, launched an investigation in September into Chinese-made electric vehicles. The inquiry concluded that these vehicles benefit from unfair government subsidies, allowing them to be sold at prices up to 20 percent lower than their European counterparts. This price advantage has made it difficult for European manufacturers to compete.

Last year, Europe saw a surge of low-cost electric cars from China, intensifying price competition and resulting in significant market share losses for many European carmakers. The new tariffs are a strategic response to protect the European automotive industry from this aggressive pricing strategy.