Turkey to impose re-balancing steel tariffs against EU

Turkey has informed the World Trade Organisation that it could impose additional import duties of 9-17% on imports from the EU of various products, in response to EU safeguard measures in place since 2019.

Turkey could impose a 9% duty on products under HS code 7208, 10% for HS code 7209, 14% for HS codes 7210 and 7215, 15% for HS codes 7211, 7212 and 7214, and 17% for HS code 7216.

The European Commission (EC) imposed the measures on 26 steel products from a host of countries from 2 February 2019 valid for three periods, Kallanish notes. In the following 15 months, the EU has ignored the Free Trade and Customs Union agreements between the EU and Turkey and continued to strengthen measures against Turkey, says the Turkish Steel Producers’ Association (TCUD).

In April 2019 “…Turkey and the EU notified… the WTO… [of an] extension of the 90-day period foreseen in Article 8.2 of the Agreement on Safeguards until 30 June 2021,” Turkey’s WTO delegation says in a note. “To date, no agreement has been reached so far with respect to adequate means of trade compensation for the adverse effects of the measures on Turkey’s trade.”

“Turkey reserves its right to apply the proposed suspension of concessions after 30 days following the date of publication of this notification,” the note continues. “Turkey reserves its right to modify, supplement, or replace the suspension of concessions or other obligations should the EU make adjustments to the safeguard measures which would render the measures more restrictive towards products originating in Turkey.”

“Turkey prefers to design the rebalancing measure to have proportionately less than the effect of the EU measures indicated in the table above, with a view to minimise the negative impacts on bilateral trade flows at this stage,” the note adds. Turkey’s proposed suspension of concessions will therefore affect $1.6 billion of trade.