CBAM complications, safeguard hinder steel activity: Assofermet

The normative framework of the EU Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) and safeguards on steel imports is hindering the daily activity of Italian and European steel companies, says Italian steel trade association Assofermet.

The challenges in filling CBAM reports, the economic repercussions expected from the mechanism starting in 2026, as well the safeguard measures in force from 2018 are a deep concern for Assofermet’s many members.

The European Commission (EC)’s Directorate General for Trade and the Directorate General for Taxation and Customs Union asked the association to highlight the critical issues of the mechanism to help with drafting the final version. “It has been assured that our perspective will be taken into account, especially for the future evolution of CBAM … Agreeing that CBAM will also generate increased costs for downstream end-users in the steel supply chain, it was pointed out to the Commission that if certain finished products … are not included in the mechanism, the European industry will lose competitiveness, given its global role,” Assofermet warns in a note sent to Kallanish.

The association notes an open-minded attitude from Italian authorities to listen to the problems of the entire steel supply chain stemming from regulations and willingness to continue dialogue on the regulatory framework. While the first quarterly report deadline for CBAM has passed, the safeguard on steel imports is currently set to expire at the end of June 2024. “There are no official updates yet on a possible extension after the first half of this year,” Assofermet concludes.

31 January was the deadline for importers to submit their first report detailing emissions as part of CBAM. The European Commission nevertheless announced this week that due to a technical incident, it is offering the possibility to request for a 30-day delay for submission (see Kallanish passim).

During the ongoing transitional phase of CBAM, European importers of steel need to file quarterly reports in the European Commission system, starting from those for the fourth quarter of 2023. During the transitional period, importers are required to report on the quantity of imported goods and resulting direct and indirect emissions. No payments will be due. The transitional phase is planned to conclude at the end of 2025.

Natalia Capra France