UK-EU steel trade can proceed with preferential tariff treatment

Photo by James R. Evans ©

Steel trade between the EU and UK can proceed on preferential duty rates from Jan. 1, 2021, avoiding customs duty if preference is claimed, according to a UK government update on its website Dec. 28.

To claim preferential duty, the product must originate in the EU or UK and be a classified good.

“To benefit from preferential tariffs when importing into the UK from the EU (or importing into the EU from the UK), the importer will be required to declare they hold proof that the goods comply with the rules of origin,” the UK government said.

The claim for preferential tariff treatment needs to be included in the customs import declaration for goods into the UK or exporter’s statement for goods sold into the EU traded on and after Jan. 1, 2021.

The UK and EU agreed a post-Brexit trade deal Dec. 24.

“It is important that with a deal in place the UK can start to build for the future with our European partners but there are many months of further hard work yet to come,” said Stephen Phipson, chief executive of the UK’s manufacturer’s organization Make UK.

“Even without the pandemic it would be stretching credibility to believe the companies that export hundreds of billions of pounds worth of goods each year could adapt to a fundamentally different trading model in just one working week,” he added.

The UK exported 2.5 million mt of steel to the EU in 2019, earning nearly GBP 1 billion, and 677,000 mt to the rest of the world, which earned GBP 300 million. UK crude steel production in 2019 amounted to 7.2 million mt, while UK steel consumption was 10.13 million mt.

— Laura Varriale