EU adjusts steel safeguard quotas for post-Brexit era

The European Commission is recalculating the volume of Tariff Rate Quotas (TRQs) as part of its steel safeguard measures effective 1 January 2021 to consider the UK a third country following Brexit, Kallanish notes.

To do this, the Commission has established import volumes of countries subject to measures in the EU-27 during 2015-2017, and added to this amount the level of UK imports into the EU-27 in the period. Finally, it has added to the resulting amounts, per product category, a 5% (to reflect the top-up of February 2019) and the liberalisation increases (two increases each of 3% in July 2019 and 2020 respectively).

The changes will be valid at least until 30 June 2021 when the current EU safeguard measures are due to expire.

The requirement to qualify for a country-specific TRQ remains unaffected by the latest development.

The Commission is inviting interested parties to comment exclusively on the proposed new TRQs resulting from the adaptation, with submissions required within five working days of 30 October.

The full list of amended quotas is available from the European Commission. As an example, Russia and Turkey have tariff quotas for hot rolled sheets in the first quarter of 395,909 tonnes and 313,792t respectively. The UK has a 114,460t quota.

India’s first-quarter cold rolled sheet quota is 143,355t, while the UK has 76,843t. Ukraine has a 209,860t HR plate quota, while the UK has 47,680t.

As for rebar, Turkey and Russia have 58,827t and 56,951t respectively. The UK has no country-specific quota.

As part of the changes, United Arab Emirates no longer has country specific quotas for hollow sections and other welded pipe, while Turkey has been excluded for large welded pipe. China, on the other hand, has been subjected to measures for seamless stainless pipe.

In reaction to the EU’s quota announcement, UK Steel director general Gareth Stace says: “Receiving the formal notice from the European Commission of Tariff Rate Quotas helps all steel companies in the UK to give their European customers a greater level of certainty that deals done today, for delivery in 2021, will not automatically be subjected to a crippling 25% tariff, resulting out of the EU Steel Safeguards.”