EU plans two more safeguard reviews

Two more reviews of the safeguard measures in place in Europe for steel imports are expected to take place by July 2021, Yuriy Rudyuk from the law firm Van Bael & Bellis explained during a webinar organized by EUROMETAL attended by Kallanish.

The new review is set to be opened by the end of the current year to find a solution for the exit of the UK from the European Union. As a consequence, safeguard quotas could be revised downward to factor in the volumes used by the UK market. Rudyuk explained there will be a number of problems to solve following Brexit. UK steelmakers are likely to request an exemption from safeguard quotas and the UK government could decide to impose its own measures to control imports, in some cases mirroring the existing European system.

Further in 2021, a sunset review of the measures is expected to be initiated to decide whether to extend the measures beyond their current deadline of July 2021. Rudyuk noted that in the past the European Commission never extended safeguard measures beyond its first timeline. However, in this case, an extension is likely, as the import restrictions in the US that originally triggered the EU safeguards are likely to remain in place.

An extension for a further period of three years will nevertheless present some challenges, in particular for the tariff-free quotas that will be calculated from July 2021.