According to an official notice sent to the WTO and published on June 11, the EU will extend safeguards on imports of steel products for another three years, keeping the volume of production unchanged and allowing a 3% annual liberalization of tariff quotas.
The current guarantee system, which has regulated imports into the EU since 2018 after a sharp increase in imports, was due to expire on June 30 after having been in place for the past three years.
The interim safeguards have been in effect since July 2018 following the US decision in March of that year to impose a 25% import duty on steel under section 232 of the Trade Expansion (National Security Threat) Act.
European steel mills have called on the European Commission to extend safeguards as steel consumers spoke out against tariffs amid high prices and limited supply in the European steel market.
In addition, the UK Trade Funds Authority on June 11 recommended continuing safeguards on imports of 10 categories of steel products, from rail materials to stainless steel bars, based on tariff quotas of three years, and removing restrictions on imports in further for nine product categories.
The UK Secretary of State for International Trade must now decide whether to accept or reject the recommendation, which provides for the gradual annual liberalization of quotas used over three years on controlled goods.