The EU’s safeguard measures for steel products, and especially their latest upgrade, have created “… an additional layer of complication for doing business”, says Yuriy Rudyuk of law company Van Bael & Bellis.
Rudyuk was a participant in a panel discussing the EU safeguard measures at this week’s conference of trade association EUROMETAL in Rotterdam, attended by Kallanish. His law firm is contacted “… on a daily basis” these days, he said, to clarify questions such as the differentiation of coil product categories 4b (automotive) and 4a (non-automotive).
The “… additional layer of complication” comes at a time when the sector is already suffering from dwindling demand, Tayfun Isery from steel producer Colakoglu and Turkey’s YISAD noted. As Turkey figures among the ten largest steel importers as well as exporters in the world, “… we are very much for free trade,” he stressed.
Julian Verden of Stemcor drew a comparison with the Iron Curtain era, “… when the European Union and the Soviet Union had a functional dual trade system – you always knew what you would get,” he said. Today, with the unpredictability of EU quotas versus incoming volumes, “… you cannot know if you may have to pay 25% on top.” This exceeds the margins of any trader and it will massively reduce imports, he noted, and stated that “… safeguard measures are pretty punitive.”
Former EUROMETAL director general Georges Kirps pointed out that the authorities in many countries are becoming overstrained with fulfilling the EU’s requirement. The safeguards are a “… Mission Impossible,” Kirps said.