The European Union (EU) has requested the establishment of a panel at the World Trade Organization (WTO) to seek the elimination of unlawful export restrictions imposed by Indonesia on nickel ore and iron ore.
In January 2020, Indonesia introduced a full ban on exports of nickel ore, reserving it for Indonesian stainless steel production, which is now affecting EU steel producers’ access to these raw materials.
Indonesia also applies domestic processing requirements on nickel ore and iron ore, which oblige businesses to subject their raw materials to certain processing or purification operations in Indonesia prior to exporting them. This further unduly restricts exports of unprocessed raw materials.
The EU released a statement regarding this, saying no WTO member is permitted to restrict exports of raw materials in this way, imposing illegal restrictions to favour domestic producers.
The EU steel sector is facing challenging times due to global overcapacity, illegal subsidisation and other trade-restrictive measures, as well as the COVID-19 economic crisis.
The EU stainless steel industry’s production is at its lowest in 10 years, while Indonesia is on path to become the second largest global producer after China due to unfair measures, the EU Commission of Trade Valdis Dombrovskis said.