EC to monitor effects of safeguard measures

The European Commission (EC) is expected to closely monitor the effect of the new permanent safeguard measures during the first half of 2019, to ascertain whether there is any impact on commercial partners.

EC president Jean-Claude Juncker sent a letter this week to Sebian president Aleksandar Vučić, responding to the concerns expressed by the Serbian government over the potential negative impacts of the measures against Serbian exports. In the letter seen by Kallanish, Juncker confirms that the Commission has included a clause in the system to “… adjust protective measures if they lead to adverse effects such as the risk of stability or the development of the economy of priority trading partners.”

He further explains that a revision of the situation is planned to be concluded before July 2019 to test the market situation against the most recent import data.

Serbia has been assigned specific country-based quotas for CRC and tinplate in the new safeguard system. During the first 11 months of 2018 Serbia exported to the EU some 1 million tonnes of steel products. This was on track to reach the highest such level since 2008, when the EU imported over 1.1mt of such products during the full year. The country has become the fourth largest HRC exporter into the EU, with some 55,000 tonnes/month shipped during the January-November period, according to Eurofer.