Brussels, 27 November 2019 – The European Steel Association (EUROFER) has today welcomed the announcement by the European Commission that it will be investigating the circumvention of anti-dumping duties by Chinese exporters of metallic coated steel. This investigation has been opened by the Commission itself, and concerns the deliberate mislabelling of large volumes of this product from China.
“The Commission has opened the case because Chinese exporters have been making minor modifications to their products simply to avoid payable anti-dumping duties. This is cheating – avoiding EU anti-dumping tariffs which are explicitly owed. It allows Chinese exporters to continue to undercut, and cause injury to, EU steelmakers. Such practices also short-change the EU budget”, said Axel Eggert, Director General of EUROFER.
This is not the only product where evidence of customs fraud has been found. National customs services recently uncovered another circumvention scheme. In this latter case, ‘quarto plate’ from China was being mislabelled as being ‘slabs’. Once again this had enabled exporters to avoid the applicable duties – worth millions of euros, which customs authorities have now been directed to recover.
“EUROFER calls on the Commission to undertake the metallic coated steel investigation as a matter of priority and to extend the scope of the existing duties to stamp out this form of circumvention”, added Mr Eggert.
The news of the opening of this investigation comes just a week after the EU launched a WTO challenge against Indonesian stainless steel raw materials restrictions and accompanying capacity-related subsidies.
Mr Eggert concluded, “EUROFER appreciates that the Commission has taken this anti-circumvention action on its own initiative. Moreover, we welcome that it has committed to combatting fraudulent practices, reflecting its determination to enforce EU trade rules and decisions as firmly as possible”.
Notes for Editors
Charles de Lusignan, Spokesman & Communications Manager, +32 2 738 79 35, firstname.lastname@example.org
A PDF of this Press Release is available: here
This manifesto sets out the footprint and importance of European steel to the EU economy, and explains why we need to make the industry more innovative, skilled and sustainable while also ensuring there is a robust trade policy that defends the sector against the challenges posed by overcapacity and trade surges. The manifesto can be downloaded: here
The EU put in place a safeguard in the wake of the US’ decision to impose a 25% tariff on all steel product imports into the US. This action, when seen in the context of massive global steel production overcapacity, risked causing massive deflection of steel volumes to the EU market, which an open market. Imports surged in 2018, rising by 12%. This infographic explains how the safeguard works and identifies some of the problems with it. The images are below and a PDF version can be downloaded: here
About the European Steel Association (EUROFER)
EUROFER AISBL is located in Brussels and was founded in 1976. It represents the entirety of steel production in the European Union. EUROFER members are steel companies and national steel federations throughout the EU. The major steel companies and national steel federations in Switzerland and Turkey are associate members.
The European Steel Association is recorded in the EU transparency register: 93038071152-83.
About the European steel industry
The European steel industry is a world leader in innovation and environmental sustainability. It has a turnover of around €170 billion and directly employs 330,000 highly-skilled people, producing on average 160 million tonnes of steel per year. More than 500 steel production sites across 22 EU Member States provide direct and indirect employment to millions more European citizens. Closely integrated with Europe’s manufacturing and construction industries, steel is the backbone for development, growth and employment in Europe.
Steel is the most versatile industrial material in the world. The thousands of different grades and types of steel developed by the industry make the modern world possible. Steel is 100% recyclable and therefore is a fundamental part of the circular economy. As a basic engineering material, steel is also an essential factor in the development and deployment of innovative, CO2-mitigating technologies, improving resource efficiency and fostering sustainable development in Europe.