Steel imports: Commission adopts adjustments to the existing safeguards

The European Commission today published adjustments to the existing steel safeguard measures. The adjustments – effective as of 1 October – will make the existing steel safeguard measures more effective and will ensure that they better reflect the current situation in the steel sector. They include improvements in the functioning of the quota, among others for hot-rolled flat steel and steel intended for the automotive sector, an updated list of exclusions for developing countries based on more recent imports statistics, and a slower progressive increase of the import quotas (reduction of liberalisation pace from 5% to 3%). The changes will take effect as of 1 October 2019. The Commission’s proposal to proceed with the adjustments to the existing steel safeguard measures received earlier this month a wide support from EU Member States and was also subject earlier in the process to consultations with WTO Members concerned.  The safeguard measures were provisionally put in place in July 2018 and have been introduced in their definitive form in February 2019. The aim has been to prevent serious injury for the EU steel industry following the increased imports and trade diversions caused by the U.S. unilateral decision to impose tariffs on steel products last year.