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European Commission to introduce global safeguard quotas on some steel products

The European Commission plans to introduce global quotas for some products and prolong steel safeguard measures to 2024, it said in a document sent to the World Trade Organization on May 30.

The Commission also updated the list of developing countries and added Vietnam to the other countries quotas, according to the document seen by S&P Global Commodity Insights.

The proposed measures would come into effect July 1 following the traditional yearly safeguard review cycle.

For product categories 7, which includes quarto plates, and 17 — including angles, shapes and sections, the EC has proposed to substitute country-specific quotas with global quotas. The main reason behind the decision was that Ukraine had historically represented around 33% of total volumes imports in each category. After Russia’s attack on Ukraine, however, export of those products to the EU stopped.

On May 24, the EU adopted a regulation allowing for temporary trade liberalization for some Ukrainian products in the wake of the ongoing war, which has halted the application of the steel safeguard measure for the time being.

As Ukrainian producers are unable to produce or ship the two product categories now, the EU authorities decided that this could result in shortage of the products.

The EC has considered setting the yearly level of liberalization of import quotas at 4%, up from 3% a year before and this would also come into effect from July 1.

The same global quota will apply on product category 8 — stainless hot-rolled flat steel and category 25A — large welded tubes.

Among other changes, hot-dipped galvanized steel imports (categories 4A and 4B) from Vietnam would be added to the global quotas list, in line with the updated list of developing countries.

— Maria Tanatar