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European Commission Changes EU Steel Import Quotas System

Steel News - Published on Wed, 01 Jul 2020

Image Source: EU Steel Import Quotas
The European Commission has published the result of its second investigation reviewing the safeguard measures put in place by the European Union on imports of steel products. The thorough package, that will take effect as of 1 July, applies all available legal means to defend the European steel industry in the current difficult market situation. The changes take account of the special circumstances prevailing in the market due to the coronavirus crisis as well as expected developments. They will ensure that the gradual resumption of activity and return to normality takes place in an orderly manner. The adjustments made in managing the quotas will be effective in deterring potentially harmful stockpiling behaviour by any foreign exporters that may try to sell very high amounts of steel in the EU market in an opportunistic manner to the detriment of the EU steel industry.

The adjustments strike an appropriate balance between the legitimate interests of all the interested parties within the EU. They can shield the EU steel industry from the eventual effects of trade diversion in a way that is most adapted to the current circumstances, while ensuring sufficient supply for the steel-using industries in Europe. Since the launch of the review in February 2020, the Commission has considered 300 submissions received from stakeholders, consulted EU Member States and received their wide support on the proposed changes.

More specifically, the main changes are the following:

Country-specific quotas will be made available in quarterly and not annual allotments. This will help ensure a more stable flow of imports at this stage and will minimise the risk of short-term import surges.

A new country-specific quota will be introduced for hot-rolled flat (category 1) steel.

Access to the residual quota for countries that have previously exhausted their country-specific quota will be only permitted to the extent necessary to respond to demand. This will help ensure equitable access to the EU market for smaller exporting countries.

The list of developing countries excluded from the measures is now updated on the basis of the most recent stable statistical data (2019).

The measures remain fully in line with the EU's international commitments, and as provided for by the applicable WTO rules, the affected non-EU countries were consulted earlier this month.

The Commission introduced the initial safeguard measures on steel imports in July 2018. The measures aim to prevent economic damage for European steel producers, given the risk of import increases related to the introduction of trade restrictions by the US on steel and aluminum products. The Commission confirmed the initial temporary measures in early 2019 for a period until end of June 2021. The first review taking account of the market evolution was concluded in September 2019. The adjustments announced today result from the second review initiated in February 2020.

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Posted By : Yogender Pancholi on Wed, 01 Jul 2020
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