The online monitoring system of UK steel quota allocation has been delayed due to “technical issues,” resulting in traders not being able to check the quota balance of imports, the UK tax office said Jan. 6.
Importers can still make quota claims for material but will not be able to know if a quota has been filled as the quota look-up section in the UK online tariffs page is not available yet.
The UK introduced steel import quotas Jan. 1 following the end of the transition period with the EU.
The delay has caused some irritation with UK buyers who fear quota levels have already been exhausted in the first few days of the year as it had been previously for some products when European steel safeguard quotas applied.
“Like other companies, we have box section entries we lodged on Jan. 1, which is a product likely to bust on day one, so very important they do not lump in the later entries,” said a UK trader.
He feared that if the quota for that product was exhausted the excess volumes would be pro-rated across all quota claims and a duty would need to be paid on the portion.
In a letter seen by S&P Global Platts, the UK tax office said: “The quota balances will not be updated and CHIEF (Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight) will continue to accept quota claims when the quotas may be exhausted.”
“If a quota claim is made but does not receive an allocation you will be contacted later by NIDAC (National Import Duties Adjustment Centre) to collect the duties due.”
— Laura Varriale, Amanda Flint