EU quotas apply to Britain-Northern Ireland trade

UK authorities continue talks with the European Commission to increase steel quotas for direct movements of steel from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. In the meantime, any steel moving in this direction will be subject to EU steel quotas.

Steel moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland does not incur any tariffs if it meets certain conditions. These are that it is produced in the UK and meets the relevant rules of origin, it is subject to one of the EU’s product specific quotas, and the EU’s quota for the specific good has not been filled.

In a letter to steel industry representatives, the UK Customs authority has advised businesses to check there is an EU quota still available on the goods they wish to move before moving them.

“If you wish to utilise this interim solution you should notify BEIS [the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy] within 24 hours of each movement of goods that you want to claim the quota on,” says HM Revenue & Customs says.

“This is an interim solution, and we will provide further information in early 2021,” the authority concludes.

The European Commission recalculated 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 (see Kallanish passim). 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.