Commission launches safeguard investigation into steel products to prevent trade diversion into the EU

The European Commission today initiated a safeguard investigation on imports of a number of steel products into the EU. The safeguard investigation is one of the three types of measures the Commission announced in response to the US restrictions on steel and aluminium.

It concerns products of all origin and its opening does not prejudge its results. However, the procedure can also result in imposition of import tariffs or quotas that would shield EU producers from excessive imports, if this proves necessary. The surveillance system for imports of steel – in place since March 2016 – has provided evidence that imports of certain steel products have been increasing. This trend may be even stronger now that the access to the US market has been limited and steel products from other parts of the world previously destined to the US may be redirected to Europe, disturbing the market and skewing prices. The investigation launched today covers 27 steel product categories. It will in principle be concluded within 9 months; should provisional measures prove necessary, they can be adopted at short notice. The Commission continues to further examine the market situation and is prepared to react as appropriate. Safeguards are one of trade defence tools recognised by the World Trade Organisation. The EU investigation procedure follows strictly multilateral rules in this respect.