Press release

EU action on steel circumvention welcomed by European Steel Association

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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, Spokesperson and Head of Communications, +32 2 738 79 35, (

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.

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.

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The European Steel Association (EUROFER)
172 Avenue de Cortenbergh
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Phone: +32 (0) 2 738 79 20