UK’s TRA launches steel product import tariff quota review

The UK Government’s Trade Remedies Authority has started a tariff rate quota review on steel product imports from over 120 developing countries, which are currently subject to its steel safeguard trade remedy measure, it said Jan. 16.

The aim of the review is to see whether developing countries could be subject to exceptions on rebar, one of the categories included in the measure, set in July 2022, after it received a request.

However, the TRA will also review other categories as well, as part of a planned annual review brought forward to ensure businesses can benefit more quickly from any necessary changes to tariffs.

“The TRA will assess whether the exceptions for imports from developing countries need to be amended based on updated import data,” it said, adding that its assessment would consider imports from all developing countries, including those excepted from the measure.

It noted that imports from some developing countries could possibly exceed 3% of total UK imports — with imports from developing countries under 3% given exceptions to TRQs.

They are also given exceptions if the low volume exporters collectively account for no more than 9% of the total imports of a product.

The TRA invited interested parties to register their interest and comment by Jan. 30, 2023, after which it said it would confirm the scope of the review.

Once the review as been completed, the TRA will make recommendations to the Secretary of State for International Trade, who will make the final decision and decide whether revisions to the TRQs are required.

Rebars are mainly used in the construction industry, with the main producers in the UK being Celsa UK and Liberty Steel UK.

In 2021, the UK imported 35% of its rebar from Portugal, 14% from Spain, 13% from Russia, 11% from Algeria and 9% from Turkey.

Platts, part of S&P Global Commodity Insights, assessed Turkish exported rebar at $690/mt FOB Jan. 13, down from a peak of $970/mt reached March 24, 2022.

— Jacqueline Holman