The EU steel safeguards have been officially extended for three years effective July 1 to June 30, 2024, along with an annual liberalization on quotas of 3pc by the EU Commission. The safeguard measures could be reviewed annually after the first year.
Voting by EU members on the measures took place on June 18, after which the final regulation was published on June 28.
The initial tariff rate quotas were set according to import data into the region for 2015-2017 and in response to the US Section 232 initiated in July 2018.
Axel Eggert, director-general of the European Steel Association (EUROFER), said the safeguard is not a measure to stabilize prices in the domestic market or to restrict normally needed supplies. The association highlighted that the current prices and demand-supply disruptions experienced this year are due to the COVID-19 crisis and unrelated to the safeguard measures supported by domestic producers.
Eggert noted, over the past three years, the size of the unused quota has grown. He further added that the regiment provides plenty of volumes in the tariff-free quota for users to import needed materials. The safeguards, according to Eggert, provide a safety net if a sharp surge in import arises.
Some steel consumers, distributors, and representative organizations have been voicing their opposition since March 2021 as the safeguard came under evaluation before its expiration this month. They claimed higher prices and limited inventories facilitated by the safeguard measures negatively affected EU businesses.