Spanish steelmakers warn of tube, profile import misdeclaration

Spanish steelmakers’ association Unesid has informed the country’s Tax Agency that non-European origin pipe, tube and steel profiles are being imported without complying with the EU’s trade regulations. These products are used in the building of photovoltaic energy installations, Kallanish notes.

“Some importers declare these products as solar structures to avoid the EU regulations for steel imports, just because they have some perforations,” says Unesid general director Andrés Barceló. This misclassification causes serious damage to the market and local economy, he adds.

Spain is massively investing in sustainable energy projects to meet EU decarbonisation objectives. In 2022, almost 4.5 gigawatts of photovoltaics were installed with a total capacity reaching 19.8GW. The country’s target is to have 65GW capacity in 2030, which will require around 100,000 tonnes/year of pipe, tube and profiles.

“This strong investment could generate great added value locally since we have the industry with the capacity to provide this material competitively. Therefore, it is essential that these materials coming from outside the EU pay safeguard duties following the provisions of customs regulations,” Barceló concludes.

Spanish Tax Agency trade data show that between June and August, Chinese-origin imports of the products reached 21,899 tonnes. The total figure from third countries amounted to 25,686t.

Todor Kirkov Bulgaria