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EU steel import quota allocation to begin

Aug 03, 2018 | 10:10 AM | London | Maria Tanatar

Tags  EU safeguard measures, steel import quotas, customs authorities, Viral Shah, Maria Tanatar

The allocation of steel volumes imported into the EU into the respective product quotas imposed by EU safeguard measures is expected to begin on Friday August 3.

The allocation of steel volumes imported by the European Union into the respective product quotas imposed by EU safeguard measures is expected to begin on Friday August 3.

A "blocking period," during which time steel imports were not allocated to their relevant product quotas, was imposed from July 19 until August 1, according to a document from the United Kingdom's tax and customs authority seen by Metal Bulletin.

“This [blocking period] is to allow time for all EU member states to put the [safeguard] measures in place,” according to the document, dated August 2. “We are expecting to be notified of the first allocation from the European Commission [on August 3].”

The commission's implementation of safeguard measures on steel imports has created confusion at national customs authorities across Europe and caused delays for steel importers, market sources told Metal Bulletin earlier this week.

The commission’s preliminary measures in the safeguard case came into effect on July 19, in the form of tariff rate quotas on 23 product categories, based on average import volumes over the past three years. Imports will only face a 25% tariff if a quota is exceeded.

The commission opened its investigation in late March in an attempt to prevent steel shipments from being redirected to the EU due to the Section 232 import tariffs imposed by the United States. Two more products were added to the list in late June.

“It’s a general rule that the [allocation] system is not live during the first 11 days and it is indeed one of the reasons why there have been so many issues at the customs clearance points - not only in the UK,” a trade lawyer told Metal Bulletin on August 3.

“The system is now live - as of yesterday - and should bring some improvements to the customs clearance procedures,” he added.

Viral Shah, London, contributed to this article.


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