EU retroactively changes safeguard for auto HDG imports

The European Union has again amended the rules relating to to the safeguard system for the import of HDG for the automotive sector. The change, effective from this week, applies retroactively as from the beginning of October 2019 and any duty paid in this regard will be refunded, Kallanish notes.

According to the latest change, the European Union has decided to cancel the request for importers of HDG using the 4b quotas to prove the use of the material in the automotive sector. The request, included from the safeguard review in October last year, has created problems and delays at customs due to the complexity of the system.

“A significant proportion of category 4b products is held at the Union’s customs border awaiting customs clearance. That seriously and negatively affects, or even disrupts, supply chains based on a ‘just-in-time’ system, in particular because the Union’s automobile industry heavily relies on highly specialised steel grades,” the European Commission (EC) explains.

As consequence of the new change, the system is reverting to the way it worked before the revision, but further reviews are expected in the coming months. A European trader points out that many have used 4a quotas for automotive material during the last month, something that might well become difficult to do again going forward.

“The Commission remains of the view that, in the Union interest, a specific mechanism, either the end-use procedure (once the implementation issues are resolved), or an alternative system, however set up, may be required at a later stage in order to ring-fence imports of automotive steel grades under product category 4B. These issues will accordingly, be re-assessed in the context of a future review investigation, based on the comments and proposals made by the interested parties, as well as other developments affecting this product category,” the EC explains. “In this respect, it is also noted that the Commission recently initiated an anti-circumvention investigation of anti-dumping measures on imports of certain corrosion resistant steel originating in the People’s Republic of China, which fall within product category 4.”