UK implements safeguard solution for Northern Ireland imports

Rest-of-world (RoW) steel imported into Northern Ireland is now subject to UK steel safeguard measures, says UK Customs authority HMRC. This applies to product being imported directly into Northern Ireland as well as when coming from Great Britain, and is effective 3 March.

The EU steel safeguarding measures will not apply when calculating the duty charged for Great Britain to Northern Ireland movements of RoW steel, which are domestic goods. This will have retrospective effect from 11pm UK time on 31 December 2020, meaning the end of the Transitional Period, HMRC says.

EU safeguard measures will not apply when calculating the duty charged for RoW steel imports to Northern Ireland and movements of RoW steel from Great Britain to Northern Ireland which are not domestic goods, which are declared before 3 March 2021. This will also be applied retrospectively from 11pm on 31 December 2020.

“This measure is expected to have a negligible impact on businesses. Businesses affected by the measure – who import steel which originates from countries outside the EU and the UK into Northern Ireland – will have access to the UK safeguard quotas or an equivalent in-quota tariff treatment provided there is a relevant EU tariff rate quota and it is open,” HMRC says in a note seen by Kallanish.

“This means their steel imports will not be subject to the EU’s safeguard tariff where there is capacity in the relevant quotas,” HMRC continues.

The move has been made by HMRC so that Northern Ireland importers can continue to import RoW steel without being subject to the EU’s 25% out-of-quota rate.

In January HMRC had advised traders to consider importing RoW steel through the Republic of Ireland to make use of the EU’s tariff rate quotas (see Kallanish passim).

Adam Smith Germany