EU member states ratify definitive safeguard measures

The European Commission (EC) has issued a statement on Wednesday confirming that EU member states have ratified the proposal on definitive safeguard measures, Kallanishreports.

“These measures are intended to shield European steel producers following the trade diversion of steel into the EU market from other producers around the world as a result of the unilateral US measures restricting imports of steel to the American market. The definitive measures aim to preserve traditional trade flows,” the EC comments.

Earlier in January the proposal was notified to the WTO, confirming the intention to apply definitive safeguard measures on the import into the EU of steel products until mid-2021. The measures will be stricter that the provisional ones adopted in July 2018, by applying a country-based tariff-free quotas for larger importers and a quarterly calculation of quotas for residual volumes.

All details, including the exact tariff-free volumes are available on the EC website.

“The Commission will now finalise the procedure, so that the definitive measures can enter into force in the beginning of February 2019,” the statement explains.

The European Commission’s draft proposal failed to attract much support in the steel industry and the steel using sectors. Large users of steel such as carmakers criticised the decision to limit further imports and some calculations of the tariff-free quotas. The German steel federation and other national steelmaker associations have noted that the draft proposal failed to address the issue of increasing imports fully. They specifically mentioned the decision to increase the volume of the tariff-free quotas assigned by 5% each year.