CBAM hits small German companies hard: Stahlmarkt

The Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) of the European Union gives industries a hard time, especially for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and in Germany probably more than elsewhere, according to one industry consultant.

In August, the European Commission published the details to be considered in the implementation of CBAM regulation in practice. The document of 102 pages “was full with legal and technical terms which most companies will have never heard of,” writes industry observer Andreas Schneider of Stahlmarkt Consult. In his latest blog titled “The Introduction of CBAM: A Disastrous Start,” Schneider points out that the new duties are a burden especially for smaller enterprises with limited staff for legal matters.

Schneider often advocates the interests of the steel and metals working industry, which accounts for 4,000 mostly small and medium-sized companies in Germany. Among other factors, he criticises a last-minute extension of the rules to include certain products such as screws, which are imported in large volumes by small traders.

He points at one particular flaw that occurred in Germany, when the government appointed its authority for CBAM matters only two days before Christmas. That is in contrast with many other countries, where the new authorities were announced early in the fourth quarter, Kallanish reads in Schneider’s blog. With 31 January as the deadline for the first report to be filed by the companies, “they had hardly one month to get acquainted with the process, and to meet the deadline,” he writes.

That authority, the “National CBAM Service Desk” defies its name because it does not provide personnel for inquiries, Schneider notes. “We apologise as we cannot answer individual questions. You will find all relevant information on our website,” the website says.

Christian Koehl Germany