UK extends Ukraine HR flats tariff exemption

The UK government has decided to extend the suspension of trade remedy measures on hot rolled flat and coil steel imports from Ukraine, according to the UK Trade Remedies Authority (TRA).

The suspension of anti-dumping measures on certain Ukraine-origin hot-rolled flat products is now valid for a further 12 months until 30 May 2024, Kallanish notes.

The suspension has been in place since August 2022. The anti-dumping duty before suspension was GBP 50.631/tonne ($63) applied on Metinvest Group and other Ukrainian producers.

The TRA has also conducted a review of anti-dumping measures on imports of these steel products from several countries, including Russia, Ukraine, Brazil, and Iran. In its preliminary findings, the TRA suggested extending the measures on imports from China, Russia, Brazil, and Iran, but removing them for Ukraine (see Kallanish passim).

The TRA concluded that the dumping of steel products from Ukraine was unlikely to recur due to the country’s reduced production capacity and limited export capabilities resulting from the ongoing war with Russia. Additionally, the TRA considered Ukraine’s need to rebuild its steel production facilities and the domestic demand for steel to reconstruct the country’s infrastructure.

Ukraine’s production of crude steel in 2022 decreased by 70.7% compared to pre-war levels, with two major steel mills destroyed and two others operating at reduced capacity.
Damage to Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, caused by Russia’s invasion, has resulted in power cuts and further reduction in steel production.

In terms of export capacity, Ukraine faces challenges due to the blockade by Russia of its deepwater ports in the Black Sea. Rail freight is considered an alternative for exports, but there are issues with railway gauges in Ukraine. There are plans for an intermodal transport corridor, potentially facilitated by the Italian government, which could help unblock the export of goods, including steel, and improve Ukraine’s export potential.

At the same time, Ukraine’s export of HR flat steel to the UK has been traditionally minimal and has not significantly impacted the UK’s market in the past.

Namely, from 2018 to 2022, the UK’s HR flat steel imports from Ukraine ranged from 30 to 2,121 tonnes, representing less than 0.01% of the total imports from both the EU and non-EU countries. In 2020, it accounted for 0.16%, while in 2021, there were no HR flat steel imports from Ukraine.

Elina Virchenko UAE