UK confirms 25% tariff on steel to Northern Ireland

The UK tax agency has confirmed that any shipments of steel under ‘Category 17’ from Great Britain to Northern Ireland for the rest of the current quarter will face a 25% safeguard duty, according to a letter shared with Kallanish by UK Steel.

“It is beyond farcical that UK producers are now prevented by these tariffs from selling goods to customers in their own country,” notes UK Steel director general Gareth Stace. Northern Ireland, despite being part of the UK, will be subject to EU safeguard duties because there can be no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Material moving onto the island of Ireland is therefore deemed to be at risk of entering the European Union unmonitored.

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs has advised traders that to avoid the EU’s safeguard duties when shipping steel to the UK, traders must apply for the global quotas under the safeguard scheme. This would allow them to avoid duties. It also notes that the global quota for Category 17 in the current quarter has already been used up, and so all shipments will be taxed until at least 1 October.

Category 17 covers HS codes 72163110, 72163190, 72163211, 72163219, 72163291, 72163299, 72163310, and 72163390 and mainly includes u, I, and h sections.

“To add insult to injury, EU steel producers can continue to export these goods tariff-free throughout the UK, but we can no longer do so in the opposite direction. Consequently, much steel that would have been supplied from UK steel producers will now have to come from the EU. At a time of looming recession, this is surely madness,” Stace adds.

Tomas Gutierrez UK